Walking with Bella (Eileen Chong)

I like to go to the ends of things
                                                                    Bella Li

That day, we walked through the city,
across a bridge, around the gardens, in
and out of galleries. We sat outdoors,
under the shade, and I watched the fountain

while you ordered coffee. A bird swooped, landed,
and searched for crumbs. Later, we followed the length
of the river and you said you were writing about lakes.
I took a photo of you looking up at the arching bamboo.

By the dock, the Carpentaria was crimson, and anchored;
the sky then opened, releasing the rain. We did not speak
of much; we shared an easy silence. I told you of the furthermost point
of Australia, at Byron Bay. You will tell me not to jump.


Eileen Chong is a Sydney poet. She is the author of eight books. Her latest full-length collection of poems is Rainforest, from Pitt Street Poetry. Her work has shortlisted for the Anne Elder Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and twice for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Find more from Eileen on her website.