States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Phantasmagoria’ by Kia Groom

Dot by dot, the backs
of eyelids. Draw it slowly,
shape of sentimental spine.
You curve that way.

I breathe the countdown
& the world falls, air by air.

In the white room you cloud
over bedsheets,
unsettled weather, & no electric
light will dare illuminate.

Your skin tastes clean sky,
polished gray. That clarity,
sharp on the tongue.
I snap off the hallway,
let shadows nip like kittens.

You are so still you shimmer.
So still you gutter out.

My ribcage phantoms. The rain
pretends to know your name,
but at the window only nail taps.
I watch your eyelids lightning.
I watch the static gather.

My chest is a wet sheet tattered.
Your shape embossed in the folds &
at my center black mold.

The light cracks, depressed
switch of the thumb-pad &
I see the vacancy,
the pale stretch of my own skin.

You are gone so thoroughly.

I lie in the damp & listen
to my wanting thunder, thunder.


Kia Groom