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Stuart Cooke


As absurd as light:
my trying to savour these last days
of her last visit, my tossing like trees between the hours,
hopelessly turbulent,
her last filaments of presence dissolving
in a river hurtling towards an oceanic desert.

Still, those moments emerge
like water cupped in hands,
mountain water, frozen as futures,
their steely whiteness,
late afternoon sunlight slanting through membranes,
stumbling into shadows and recovering to bloom
in isolated pockets of shining terrain,
the oiled carving of an idle skink,
a careful puma’s dark glass,
those voltaic moments purr like bows or hammocks,
her tanned skin and a thin book held open.

A sense — say it is of water on the tongue —
of a cool liquid circling around and into itself,
sliding into the darkness, negating itself
yet lacteal, sinuous, its glassy thickness — say
it is water on the tongue — clear, silken
liquid silent as memory,

a clearing sheltered by a maternal willow
and carried away by the river of an icy clock.

Valle de Hurtado, Chile

Stuart Cooke

Stuart Cooke

Stuart Cooke was born in 1980 and grew up in Sydney and Hobart. His poetry, fiction, translations and essays have been published widely in Australia, and in the USA and UK.

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