Do you come here often? (Melinda Smith)

Sydney, you flirt, you sandstone
blonde with your wide blue
eyes, your fringes of come-hither
frangipani, your swizzle-stick
palms, your blinding white
mast-thickets bristling in the little bays.

Perched on your towering glassmetal
barstool, you apply your dainty
suction to a series of cocktail straws, draining
artery after artery. There are always more
bodies pressing their flesh forward, jostling
to offer themselves. And you love
to swallow.

Melinda Smith won the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for her fourth poetry collection, Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call (Pitt St Poetry). She lives in Canberra but enjoys being let out sometimes. This year she has appeared at the Sydney and Newcastle Writer’s Festivals, and at the Queensland Poetry Festival. She blogs at and tweets as @MelindaLSmith.