Sea Krait Broome

By Amanda Joy

How slow an approach when viewed
from a distance. How more likely
the encounter if the ground is clear
A voice saying always “go ahead”
calls it freedom
 
Above the 27th parallel is the heat
I know as home, in my bones always
untouched by city’s cool centrifuge
that refracts a kind of light
which bursts and vanishes on the spot
 
Heading North, I escape the fray
Green hem of the outskirts, roadside
façade of forest, hiding a casement
of burnt earth, silent as myself
 
Outside, a poet ghosts a window
Writing back into life his night
parrots. I drive lines from water
to water, guzzle roadhouse coffee
 
Warming up, there is a conflict
of appetite, a suburban tree, black
with cockatoos shucking almonds
A dolphin trapped in a rock pool
 
Cane toads storming the Kimberley
in wet, find it planted with sugar
An olive python curled under a van
belly beaded with feral kittens
 
After three days of seated travel
I lunge from the car, sprint the length
of jetty, deaf to the man screaming
 
warning. Only in midair do I look
down to the sea, the time it takes
to panic
 
Two yellow-and-black krait, vivid
bandwidth of danger, turning on
the turquoise surface, and all
I can do, is fall
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