Maureen Alsop

Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming (with Winter Sandstorm)

—after Kathleen Petyarre’s Utopia Station, Northern Territory

When I walk       my country follows me—
miserable & pleased

as the Butcherbird’s

scatter of six Zodiac Moths from the Melaleuca
or when I put my mouth to an eyeless
yellow & drink the Southern Cross’
cold slithering reflection. Slippery

lizard faces withdraw
into the hedgerow. Perhaps I too
am shy, but something female in my lips
remains generous. When I speak, fields

flare a constellation of north island ammunitions,
but it is only the thrum of mayflies wing.

Sunlight whips the hills.

Truth is the flattened marsh after summer monsoon where
winter glimmers. As if from mangrove, radio waves
whisper a white scratch onto Arnhem land caves. Nameless

a Magpie once broke flight; it bore my mother’s
ashen hair & her voice. My ear

emptied. I will not say
if I slept
or which sand dune

cradled me, feckless       naked.