The static hum of cicadas              a blanket over leaf litter,

I emerge from the same sheets my grandmother

sewed the raw edges back together, patched

planes worn thin by crooked feet and long nails.

Stand, shedding sheets like skin,             smelling

faintly of dust and the small homes of native mice.

Walking the beach hand in hand with a long line

of my former selves, all of us crowding

coastline, jostling toward the cliff-face                 hanging

over the lip of the channel, plunging into deeper,

darker waters, thirsting for salt.

The weight of my body                   slumps

against the swing of the pendulum clock

if I could hold time still                               for even a minute

maybe you could make your way back to us,

unfurl from the earth again in new skin,

a whole and imperfect thing.


Izzy Roberts-Orr is a writer, producer and broadcaster who grew up on Arrernte Country (Alice Springs) and Wurundjeri Country (Footscray) they still call home. Izzy is also Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the Emerging Writers’ Festival and a Co-Director of Broadwave podcasting network. Very slowly, their book of elegiac poetry titled Raw Salt is nearing completion. @izasmiz