2 Poems by Frances Olive

In Falling Places


I
Sway gums on earth hips
hold winter heavy


with light. They carry
this paused heart


without looking. Angels
are sudden with them


where light rises
and leaf lines crack the storm


with flickering detail—
the scrape of animals


towards shelter
over stone.


II
Sunk garden, in-breath
of valley fall;


a low light ringed
with stone teeth.


The marble gums
pan the sky for spirits,


but abandon grows
in falling places


where deer lie—homely
on this edge of the wrong world


they did not choose.
Still, they grace us


with heavy bodies
intent on life.

mostly, my mother


I have been a million people
mostly, my mother


who wears her face on everybody, a permanent tremor
my mother’s smile


is lipstick on my teeth
as I try to meet her


halfway.
I only know the middle of these end points


I have rolled my face across her face
stealing from public gardens


the roses, the violets
smudged across my face


as a child’s desire
I have eaten all her lipstick.

About the contributor

Frances Olive is Sydney-based. Her work appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Overland, Cordite, Contemporary Australian and others. She completed her doctoral studies in philosophy at the University of Sydney and is currently completing a Doctorate in Creative Arts at Western Sydney University.

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