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Jane Gibian

Two poems


In the sideways slide of the eyes, yours
and hers, around invisible narratives
that hang in the air, there’s a gathering

that approaches an imperfect
polyphony, where she’ll make you
understand the progression to a minor

key, capture the symmetry between
voices and offer them to you like
a devastating gift. Eyes slide

with the swinging of the mind,
the sinuosity of the secret world
inside, and its faint continuous

soundtrack. Waiting for the closing
cadence, a harbinger of your
distraction, is like waiting

for the poppy buds to split open
and spill their compressed warmth,
their inevitable defeat. Both of you

listen: all is suspended in the final
note, held in the balance by your eyes.

nhó : (verb) to miss; to remember

At the round moon of the eighth lunar month
the missing and the remembering descend
like a shimmering veil across her eyes: easy,

then, to feel the exact curve of his voice
shaping around her inner ear. Back in the tall
room, darkened against the afternoon heat,

her body was white against the heavy
carved furniture, his reflection distorted
in the bevelled edges of the long mirror,

and her arms tattooed invisibly
with longing. She can’t hold him still
in her mind: she was spinning in circles

faster and faster, radiant under
his gaze; twirling in the spotlight.
Embers of a volatile gift flare

in their hands: to remember, to miss;
a shadow fallen across her eyes, the moon
collapsing into a misshapen oval.

                                                          — Mid-Autumn moon festival

Jane Gibian

Jane Gibian

Jane Gibian is a Sydney poet whose first collection, The Body’s Navigation, was published in 1998. She was an Asialink Literature Resident in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2002.

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