Contemporary Australian Poetry.
Metal Fume Fever by Rose Hartley
Rapunzel’s Hair; Some Other Uses by Chloe Wilson
During our first year together, we moved
into the first of three apartments in Texas,
between the highway and the railway,
where we lay listening to oil rumble past
in the night bound for gulf coast refineries.
Your bike was stolen from its resting place
near the dumpster by a Taco Bell worker
who strapped a radio to the frame and rode
it blatantly around town. We walked
across the highway to the video store
where they knew our names and stopped
at the Fina for chips and six-packs of Shiner.
We drove to the County Court House to obtain
our marriage license. The civil ceremony
was conducted business-like with co-workers
as witnesses in the county clerk’s office,
an empty coke can on the officiant’s desk,
a portrait of a SWAT team on the wall.
We played cards on Thursday nights
in a single-wide trailer with friends,
beer, cigars and Stevie Ray. We drove
to Shreveport to play the loosest slots
in Louisiana, gorge at the buffet.
We spent weekends in Austin
and San Antonio lounging by pools,
washed down fajitas with margaritas.
On Friday nights we watched your students
play football under lights. On Sundays,
we played Pac-Man at the Laundromat.
On sultry summer evenings
we swam naked in the lake.
Nathanael O’Reilly was born in Warrnambool & raised in Ballarat, Brisbane and Shepparton; he now resides in Texas. He is the author of Distance (2014) and the chapbooks Suburban Exile (2011) and Symptoms of Homesickness (2010), all published by Picaro Press. He is the recipient of an Emerging Writers Grant from the Australia Council. Over one hundred of his poems have appeared in journals & anthologies around the world, including Antipodes, Australian Love Poems, Blackmail Press, Cordite, fourW, LiNQ, Mascara, Postcolonial Text, Prosopisia, Red River Review, Snorkel, Social Alternatives, Tincture, Transnational Literature, Verity La and Windmills.