Blood Mouth


Blood Mouth 


When you tear yourself

to speak

the blue grey green of winter sunsink

your throat will flower with dusk

arms will reach                        will embrace

and tremor against anonymous

     the breeze the bird the branch

will show you where to bury

                    the splintersslitherssplitters

of that which would not hear        what did not give itself to be heard

that was afraid to hear too much

that was afraid to blister in the sound of arteries

and to know this too as a home


It will not be flesh but heat and light

that will pry your periphery

raise the stringybarks             from scrub simplicity

raise the river

gather bury dry burn

       the beads the cloth

       then the word for bead                        the word for cloth

leave only        every way to say mother

in every voice you’ve moved within


Meet time and be bled

     it’s only water finding sky

tracks bearing still the old speeches and songs

that shattered            the/against            white noise

you will be known still

even as these slice lips slice skin


When you are here alone

filling pockets with pouches

with cornered pages and palm ink

it will remind you

to speak threshold       to speak yourself

to arrange your entries

     grow them from your body

to then return the givings         to then return the body

to remember only when you came

and you were      light  burning the earth


It will hold what’s left             as more than before

in scape that has always known

the shape of you

it will sound familiar

        like the taste     of water

        of your own tongue

Evelyn Araluen

Author: Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, activist, educator and PhD candidate working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. Her work has been published in Cordite, Southerly, Rabbit and Best Australian Poems. Born and raised on Dharug country, she is a descendent of the Bundjalung nation.