by Andy Jackson

Gorge in west Mac Donnell national park.

nothing that could be held
in mind, hand, mouth.
The shallow

leaf-washed creek rippled past.
the steep gorge-side held thin
eucalypts and fallen

boulders. The sun
was everywhere. Around us,
blue wrens hopped, almost

into our open hands.
You brushed my arm, casually,
tenderly. A strong wind

picked up and did not
take any of this away.
Still, the pain

dug further in, muttering
in a language I could
not comprehend –

And the birds, the birds
kept feasting on insects
too small to see.