2 poems by Laura Brinson


a low arch forces a bow

as you enter the catacombs

beneath the Monastery of Saint Francis

vaulted brick and mortar canopy

portals; pits; fissures and ossuaries

floor to ceiling sorted and stacked

clavicle; scapular; humerus

interlocking chevrons of the long leg bones

tibia; fibula; femur

what were they doing, those conquistador priests?

for centuries, a brotherhood

laboured in the chambers under Lima 

unquestioned on their mission

of this sacred adornment

filling pits with the tiny bones of hands and feet

tarsals; carpels; phalanges

a perfect mandala of remains in a brick-lined well

cranium; mandible; radius; ulna

light recedes from the bare electric globe in its wire cage

in the shadowy confines of passageways

shapes in monkish robes


within me 

a great inland sea

a lazy wallow in the warm waters

of familial connection

like a goldfish

weaving through

a cave of unsorted memories

through the milk-soft weeds

of family obligation

close-bound kin

navigate in tandem

and generally judge you kindly

I am my brother with smaller ears

I am my sister with less grace

that solemn sister

my childhood shadow

our shared secret language

whispered secrets half-told

old traumas unsettled

second-hand sagas 

imprinted with the breath of others

weighty words

bare bones in a milky sea

dragged into daylight

sun warmed

About the contributor

Laura Brinson is a Melbourne-based reader and a writer, seamstress and gardener. She revels in the luxury of a sewing room which catches the morning sun where she makes wedding dresses and costumes.

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