I stumble;

down to the creek bed that no longer runs

down to rust-red clay, cracked like elephant skin

down to bury myself beneath the bleached bones of a fallen scribbly gum

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Checked Out

Bub takes three minutes to get to the store.

Bungs on his double pluggers and trots in.

Grabs a trolley on the way.

Five minutes to close.

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Smooth milk-bottle skin

salted caramel sauce eyes, butterscotch

snaps me to attention.

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A Confession

Judith stared at a spot on the concrete wall in front of her as the prison guard guided the metal detector down the length of her body. As he reached the curve of her hips she breathed him in, the heady scent of cedarwood and tobacco smoke curling into her nostrils.

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I Want You to Panic

‘When you’re asleep, you lose your sense of smell,’ the firefighter explained. ‘That’s why smoke alarms are important; without them, you won’t smell the smoke. If you don’t smell the smoke, you’ll feel the fire. Girls and boys, if that fire creeps up on you, you’ll be dead. Too late, game over. When you hear that smoke alarm beep-beep-beepin’ – girl, you’d better sit up and take notice before it’s too late. You gotta wake up. Do you hear me girl? You better wake the hell up.’

‘Anna! WAKE. UP.’

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