Recent poetry by Rico Craig has been published by Meanjin, Cordite and Minor Literature[s]. In 2014 he was shortlisted for the University of Canberra Poetry Prize and the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His poem Angelo was awarded third prize in the 2014 Dorothy Porter prize by Meanjin. For additional work visit ricoandhisroboteye.wordpress.com.
This story first appeared in Issue Eleven of Tincture Journal. Please support our work and the payment of our contributors by purchasing a copy.
Image by Abbie Foxton: abbiefoxton.com
I am a ghost coming home. The dove
on your wrist has turned to ash. No song
will bring you back. Old awnings and their flaking
messages bewilder me; the sound of a siren
in front of Red Rooster, slow-changing traffic lights
where I cupped your head as you fell
into an electric riddle; your epileptic body
in desperate shapes on the pavement. I still
feel your shaved scalp beside my thumb,
hear the ticking of bangles as you shake
visions from your fingers, see the pitch of your
eyes turned back. Those days were a gift.
My memory is pale witness to the sight of you
twisting on a bed, a cigarette burn by your right breast,
this young mind an ember in your hands. Today
has found all our secret rendezvous. I can taste
your Winfield Reds and hear the spindle of your
lighter scratching. I left these memories, years ago;
bundled in a waterproof jacket beside the train line
to Quakers, under a mound of rocks, never to be
retrieved. Now our dancing shadows have returned,
our gaunt teen desires are on their feet. The hidden
part of me that plucked colours from your bird
ribs is alive again and I have a final secret to share.