I pull cucamelons off his vines,

each hiding like pills from a child.

Three in the bucket, one in my mouth

I swish through the lattice, searching for more.

He stands tall, a zucchini god, pulling weeds.

We are muted, quiet enough to hear the cucamelons rip

under my teeth and his just-smoked breath, syncopated

between my crunches.

And he says, take this

basil and plant it for me

take these lusty cucumbers

I don’t like and eat them for me.

And instead I take this moment for myself,

stripy socks crumbed with soil

and strawberries bloated with the unsaid.

At the end of his garden, a glass pumpkin,

stem curled over the netting,

his breath trapped inside.


We are at opposite ends of his garden bed,

our roots straightened out, spidery

but never touching.

Clare Millar is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and bookseller. She edits poetry and nonfiction for Voiceworks and is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn. She has been published in The Lifted Brow, Overland, Kill Your Darlings, Voiceworks, and The Age/Sydney Morning Herald. She tweets @claresmillar.
Georgia Rose is an illustrator that grew up in a small town in country NSW and uses “y’all” and wears cowboy boots unironically. She mostly draws her cats. You can find her at @GeorgiaRoseDraws on Instagram.