So much is silent beyond sand and men
with pronouncements, low strains whipping
at our boots. Furs, exposed skin slipping
from precedence quietly when
fierceness can’t stand the pathogen
of recollection’s ravenous gripping.
Now we hunt lizards, re-arming, re-equipping,
in this arrestedness once called unbroken.
We surface no more to the grey names of lovers
yet hear their love, miniature as a shadow
under heretical ruins of the plateau
where, pronged or bladed, allure recovers
a beauty which misses us as we did oxygen.
Toby Davidson is a lecturer in Australian literature at Macquarie University. He is the editor of Francis Webb’s Collected Poems (UWA Publishing, 2011) and author of the critical study Christian Mysticism and Australian Poetry (2013), part of New York publisher Cambria Press’s landmark Australian literature series. His debut collection is Beast Language (Five Islands Press, 2012).