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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three Nov-Dec 2023.
Woman to Man, poems by Dominique Hecq.
Woman to Man
Fingers feel beneath cold sheets.
She waits. Awe of ramshackle
architecture. Fleshes out
the shape of his desire. Watches
how it takes hold. Where it
surges from. Night. Unnamed
nothing. His hunger swirls over
her bait ball body. She throws her
self in. Catch-as-catch-can. Teeth
flash. Bite. He latches on. Licks.
Kiss. Rock. Hold. Surrender.
He says this child will be petted
with affectionate indifference.
She says it’s pure wish-fulfilment
on his part. He chortles. Says he’s
thinking of a cockroach
impaled on a stick. Winter comfort,
last daphne, first camelia,
the endless feat of being
fat with child is all
she thinks of. The pointed disregard
of the end. The fear, agonising.
And when he’s done, she forgets
it has nothing to do with her.
There is no river, there is no bridge
through the open window, same requiem
hypertrophy of walls, graveyard pillars.
Here sidewalks ponder smoke
the silence of disappearance
on the brink of brokenness.
The sky lisps its own abandonment.
Hollow glass, towers knock
your neglect over, trample
Buried belief backlights
your faceless head, already
dissolving by the lake, fag
hanging from black lips
eyes, embers in sockets.
All that tumble.
Soon your bones will chatter-hiccup
my cypress lips smack shut the slurs.
I weave alone through trembling
poplars, spectres of disappeared
apparitions where my child floats.
A lost kite trails, my prayer.
I baptise myself.
Swallow your name.
Fear is a retreating waterfall.
We shimmer across
surfaces. Skirt though time.
Meaning of life, secret of happiness
and all that jazz. I’m still writing
the history of my death. Dominant
colour blue. A whisper, cavernous
bass. I look up. Time has no face.
© Dominique Hecq
Dominique Hecq grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium. She now lives on unceded sovereign Wurundjeri land in Melbourne, Australia. Hecq writes across genres and disciplines—and sometimes across tongues. Her creative works include a novel, six collections of short stories and fifteen books of poetry. Her latest publications include After Cage (2nd ed., 2022, Liquid Amber Press), Songlines (2023 Hedgehog) and Endgame with No Ending (2023, SurVision), winner of the 2022 James Tate Poetry Prize.