about the author

Recent poetry by Rico Craig has been published by Meanjin, Cordite, Verity La, and Doctor T.J Eckleburg Review. In 2014 he was shortlisted for the University of Canberra Poetry Prize and the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His poem “Angelo” was awarded third prize in the 2014 Dorothy Porter prize by Meanjin Literary Journal. For additional work visit ricoandhisroboteye.wordpress.com.

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Dressing Gown 

Rico Craig

Nanna has a new fontanelle
a piece of her skull sits in the fridge.
My visit is overdue. She guides my fingers

to touch the vacant triangle. Her lucid waves
are a curse. She knows how many days
I have neglected her for the coven

lights of Oxford St. She tells me
she wants curried sausages
and a shandy; maybe someone

to listen as she renames her memories
and pretties them with drifting
plumage: her mother

dodging oxen as they hauled trees
from the Namoi, her favourite
dog whipping leaves into the air

after a red-belly black bit
to the furred bone. After, nothing in death
could frighten her. I haven’t the hide

to ask how she mothered my mother,
blessed her slick into the world, and
if virtues concertina, easy as vice,

across generations. In my silence
she does the asking, Is it easier to forget?
I answer in the only voice I have, deceitful

as chloroform, trying to nudge her back
into herself. She says, she’s full of life
it’s stuffed in her mouth like wadded cotton,

she’s breathless and her gums
taste of ash. She says, being old
is waiting for someone to light

the molotov and set your guts ablaze
so you can smile a last time as smoke
seeps from between your chipped teeth.

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