mantra review

Summer 2018



after Rilke’s “Ninth Duino Elegy”

swept up in the calm gesture of leaving
in order to be somewhere new     either
the branch reaches down
        & taps you on the shoulder
or you pull the cord for the hazer
behind you
                    dense clouds gather
a lifetime of misapprehensions
cueing up to jump the fence
          between the two of us
we shop our love around
the tyrrhenian     & the adriatic
              we are all for crossing over

word after borrowed word
      I am bringing you closer still
      closer & into my chest
soon we are colouring over       outlines
of one another’s implied meanings
running my mouth against yours
racing against the written word
on each page facing       a different translation

your actual lived experience seeps through
a split in the seam of our romance
lips quiver barely able to suppress       a sneeze
      from the pepper grinder of non-sequiturs

I drag a finger to my lips
in front of a thousand cameras triggered by the
very thought of this happening       once only

            that momentary
                          release packs its own parachute

            a flag to wave of       right now
        is equally a sheet we turn over together
    a set of ears to hand over to our hosts
scare quotes raised above our heads
          in earnestness

you drop into my open hands
as real as the open ocean                 being here

                          the leaf optimistically
                  pushing back against the wind

Translated with Auslan; Australian Sign Language.

Dominic Symes is a poet from Adelaide, Australia. His poetry has been published in Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Award Winning Australian Writing 2016, Coldnoon, and Broadsheet. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Adelaide.

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