from issue #2: Poetry by Erin Martine Sessions (I)


Photo (CC) Josh Semans @ Flickr


If I were a house

I would have a cast iron
spiral staircase from the cellar
to the attic so that head
and heart could confer.
I’d have a rocking
chair on the balcony that arches
back to indecision and lurches
forward to light bulb moments.
There would be a weather
vane on the roof to warn
of my swarming mood.
I’m pretty sure my floors
would be polished
hardwood for resistance
to your whirling elements.
The laundry would have
a machine just for
washing my mouth out.
My wine-coloured dining
table would always have
an extra place set.
I would have one window
left open
for you to climb in.


New Year

Your eyes were colder and sharper
than the icicles that overhung
from your gutters. Your hair, like the sky,
was greying, and your new house was as
ostentatious as your introduction.

In August you snuck a glance
over the tops of your agapanthus,
their finger-like fronds
reached through our
fence and into my yard.

A month later you ventured
past your melting ice
demeanour and flower-fence
to watch me through the window
with those steely eyes.

In Spring you followed me,
steam rising from
the footpath, but the heat
I felt was your gaze
on the back of my neck.

I knew from the knock
it was you on my stoop —
some excuse to borrow
a book. You smelled
like coffee and Christmas.

At a New Year’s party with
all our neighbours, I avoided
your glimpses and fixed my eyes
on the fireworks. The moon
was round and gold like your wife’s ring.



ERIN MARTINE SESSIONS is an emerging poet based in Sydney. Contrappasso is the first place in which she has been published. Later in 2012 her work will also appear in Sparks, the Sydney University Anthology, and Volume 11 of Swamp, an online magazine for creative writing postgraduates. Erin has a Bachelor of Ancient History (Honours) from Macquarie University, a Bachelor of Christian Studies from the Australian College of Theology, and a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Sydney. She is a part-time student, part-time registrar, part-time librarian, and always a poet.


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