Rock Hopping

Rock Hopping

she was leaping surface to surface
over a rabid sea

you said
there’s no time to put your shoes on
come with me

you led her through the bush
up twisting wallaby trails
and howled against a tree trunk
when she stepped in glass

she cracked all her teeth
and dug her fingers in layers
of dirt and bark and leaves

you took her feet in your lap
and pushed the glass in, saying

I love you
             (I’m sorry but)
     this isn’t my fault

where is my distress?
I left three severed toes
at the roots of a Eucalyptus

now my grave is lichen
and my skin is mottled grey
wrapped in the waxy green

of stripped vines with sharp edges
hanging from her roof

she plants violets
in her window to signal birds
he carried her home

so she made him
a thank-you cup
of tea

tracing blood on the linoleum
balancing on seven toes

he said
I love you, this wasn’t my fault

she said
I know

I dreamt I broke my granny’s ring
I tried to fix it with tweezers

do you think I’ll ever run again?

and as her gums turn white

you said
as long as I love you
you are always running,

the wallaby trails split open
into a great black road
cutting spirals down the mountains’ back

you take the corners too fast
her body leaves the back seat
and flickers in the windscreen

her voice loops through the radio static:
                        I love you
                           I love you, and
                             nothing’s your fault

I am crowned with skewers and moss
flying over a rabid city

holding all her teeth in my lap
she falls asleep with my hand on her chest

we do not say I love you
we only rest.