States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Inferno I : Invasion Day’ by Kia Groom

Kia Groom

Kia Groom

Kia Groom is founding editor of Quaint Magazine. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets award, the runner-up for the


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Invasion Day


My thighs are cold in the crevice
where the Coke can rested
as I drove. By the mailboxes
the ginger guy is                                                     staring                     again
his back against
my box, meat-pie
eyes, fixed
                                                                                  upon the middle distance
             not looking
at me, like I expect.

I disembark and seek out shadow,
walking in my skin-shoes where the pavement
is the darkest, where
my flesh won't burn. I'm white,
white, white – invisible
as ghost – the sidewalk of my hips
untrodden by their fingertips. A sunburned
country, empty.

I know summer from the sticky
pools of ice-cream melting in the eyes
of children, from the stink of burning
flesh on barbeques.

A guy walks past with a fresh
tattoo:                                                                    the Southern Cross all slick
                                                                                with blood and fluid,
in Glad Wrap
like a lump
of steak.

I salivate. I sink
my teeth into his arm.

I am so hungry.


Kia Groom