At Cottesloe Beach, 2015

Dadda! Dadda! a toddler screams
Dadda! Dadda! Dadda! Dadda! Dadda! Dadda!

Dadda is chiselled, hard-bodied, striding up the beach
in rash top, mid-thigh shorts, expensive, tight
Under his right arm like a rugby ball
he carts a little girl
held horizontal, facing the ground
wriggling and kicking against his grip
screaming what she thinks is his name

By the shower he dumps her
She lands on her feet with a visible thud
He pulls her dress off over her head
yanks down her pink suit
with its frill around the hips
Having gotten her naked
he turns on the cold shower
shoves her under
She flinches, clings to his legs
He brushes water over her
with flat swipes of his palm

All this time she is screaming
All this time he says nothing
and his face does not move

A group of tourists stare
Even some of the locals look

He turns off the water
pulls a white and brown striped towel
off his shoulder

At last he will wrap and embrace her
I tell myself

He wrestles the towel around her
twists it into a knot
hoists her under his arm again
marches down the beach
Her wet things dangle from his left hand

All this time she is screaming
All this time he says nothing
and his face does not move
All this time I watch

First published in Creatrix 34, September 2016


Bananas sound like chop chop chop.
My daughter (18) with her stick-insect wrists
cutting them up to freeze and blend.
My kitchen is full of their fat-free sweat.
I don’t know how to talk about it.

I pick one up and touch it
to my nose. Close, the skin
has its own dun scent. Some creatures

consume the skin, I think.
I tried that once to see. Between the teeth
a stringy density. On the mouth’s membrane
a drying, withering chalk.
The banana in my hand is cool and smooth

like a wax effigy. My fingers wrap it
with just enough of a lap
to feel secure. Its body

is firm and curvily slim
like the limb of a well-made woman,
the woman my daughter might
become, if she eats
bananas enough.

First published in The High Window, issue 1, Spring 2016