ringtail, in memoriam
(Rae White)

Verity La Heightened Talk

5 ∇

on route to work, i see you: pelt shadowed & swollen
with rain, your eyes quarter-closed. next day
you sleep in shrubbery, footpath streaked
with ants as they fidget in your
blood/guts/piss.

4 ∇

soon you’re unrecognizable, swamped
with beetles/crows/flies: their glistening work
takes weeks, they nibble & shift against
flesh, tickle at cooking sun-soaked
muscle.

3 ∇

in the office, my boss
laments the declining state
of the world: the neediness of ‘transes’
in workplaces (example: bathrooms
always bathrooms, the demands of our
inconclusive genitals). i wonder about you
only halfway down the road & gleaming
with decay. i wonder what your life was like
on wires, skittering on tightrope above men
like him.

2 ∇

next day my corporate-polished shoes sweat
& slip. i notice we both look disheveled:
my morning selfie reeks of pimples/slumped
shoulders/alcohol. you are ground-sunk
hairs fanning back & sleeping
into leaf litter, the curves
of your bones exposed
sunlit & glowing.

1 ∇

after a workday where he tries to touch
my inner thigh (‘accidental’ slip, searching)
i watch a local cat (ghost-like/light-
reflective/crease-faced) rolling
next to you: shifting corpse-spine
against cat-spine, unaware of tumbling
in your grave.

0 Δ

it’s a total of six months (the honeymoon
period) before you’re looking good
as new. i slowly curl curved
tail (bleached/white/intact) from the over-
grown grass, domino it flat into my chipped
takeaway container. i resign.

 


Rae White is a non-binary transgender poet, writer and zinester. Their poetry collection Milk Teeth (UQP) won 2017 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry and commended in the 2018 Anne Elder Award. Rae’s short story ‘The Body Remembers’ won Second Prize in the 2019 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. They are the editor of enbylife.net a journal for non-binary and gender diverse creatives.