Mourning the house
And our eyes straining in sawdust
Dragging Uncle Gerard’s lathe across an unvarnished wood floor
There were long Sunday nights
I was toeing tobacco-sticky tiles
I was in the taste of the kitchen with touchable history – truly, I was
An architect has been there with unsentimental goggles, rulers, spirit levels
So we cannot go back
Cannot disturb the past’s floor plan which keeps still for us – our nighttime indulgence
Laughably blue and arrestingly pink
The vegetation smell on the patio
Everything then was mildewed and seeping and fertile
Nobody wants my ghosts
Now, lying still in the dark, my ears are little wells for crying
They are homes for relief, they are tiny bunks of remembrance
Perhaps there is still a red-tiled bathroom with a print on the wall
It may still be mold-dappled from a life watching;
steamy shower-shaves, considered periods of dressing, soap scum, and breaths held for the evening
This place here is for a tin shed, you should know that (not an infinity pool)
It’s for palms which drop their leaves in gutters and rot
It’s for storing a broken dingy, a donkey costume for two adults, congealing possum piss
Visiting, visiting, revisiting
What time remains for me to walk through the cold door?
How long can you hold a house in your head?
Author: Tom Campbell is a Meanjin/ Brisbane writer and QUT alumni. He works in hospitality, writes avidly, and his work has also appeared in Urinal Mag.
Artist: SaBelle Pobjoy-Sherriff is a third year fine arts visual arts student. Her art practice uses narrative and mythology to create obscure illustrations and sculptures. Using acrylic paint and coloured pencils she creates vibrant worlds and creatures. Her current work focuses on the current climate crisis and the idea of corrupting escapism. You can find more on her Instagram @SaBelleeee.
Editors: David Farr and Grace Harvey