she said that words come from a divine source
tap a cloud, wave a flag, divert their course.
she said words come easily, she’d inquire within
like a guest would exorcise a pallid skin.
she said, and I could see her eyes straining
through bumblebee sunglasses,
I wrote because I had time for that
awful thing, I had six years for ink
to impress itself, and ten more for a press,
eleven to be read, and twelve to be known, and after—
after, she said, her eyes visible under dark glass
there won’t be enough time or silence
in all the world, your course will be set
and your last word will be a signature.
She shook her head
and her dreadlocks frolicked
for absent freedoms
to produce a truth in the making
to say what it is,
or what it wasn’t,
what for me
could be five years or twenty, but for her is
distilled in future tense—why she
wears sunglasses on such dull days, not for the weather.
an afterlife ill fits the novelist
whose life cannot end.
with a name on some lists, doors open, and
fellow beds become bedfellows, and
you’ll hate these cages.
About the Author
Dashiell Moore is a fourth-year PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. His thesis, “Redirected Poetic Encounters,” traces a poetic meridian between the Caribbean and Indigenous Australia, and gives a critical appraisal of comparative literary studies and postcolonial scholarship.