Madera Ranchos (Emily O’Grady)
I eat Peach Jewels warmed on a tea-stained
paper plate, fleshy centres rich as yolk—
yellow shell flakes and falls like confetti
on insect-flecked cement. And though
the copper lab snaps at June bugs droning
by the cacti stacked in Terra Cotta—
the tangled strawberry vine,
the corn husks in the vegetable grid—
across the straw lawn a black horse stands
dense as a statue: a rosewood knight
beneath the cloudless sky white with smog
and the pastel throb of the fruit pit sun.
As we wait for the invisible tilt
for the valley’s veil to lift slowly as evaporation
I watch an ant carry a crumb on its back,
a zigzagging drunk beneath a pinhead of gold
until the desert sky splits its hold
and shatters to a dome of foamy opal.
Emily O’Grady is a writer and PhD candidate at Queensland University of Technology. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Westerly, The Lifted Brow,Mascara Literary Review, Tincture Journal, and Award Winning Australian Writing.