JUN 09

Famous Reporter # 39

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BRONWYN MEHAN

                     Darwin Bride

(after Frida Kahlo’s The Bride who became frightened when she saw life opened.)

Up here locals quiz me –
Contract or permanent? Renting or buying?
as if I’m a carpetbagger
with designs on
Darwin
their unwed daughter
 
but they are wrong
Darwin is the wedding feast
and I
Frida’s bride
my eyes widening
at each fresh horror.
 
I sweat inside white gloves
my high primped hair
the soft folds of my satin gown
all dwarfed
 
by fleshy pink peaks
of broken watermelon
hands of fat dog-nosed bananas
scrotum coconuts with stem scars
like wizened faces
obscene slits in papaya
pregnant with seeds.
 
Each Sunday morning
at Rapid Creek markets
these are Darwin’s delights.
 
In my tropical backyard
lumpy toads burst
from bloated soil
            smelling like Clag     like semen
my vegetable patch vomits fungus
jackfruit ferment
like black decapitated heads
palm trees shed sheaths
as curved and brown
as Diego’s trouser legs.
 
Frida, who knows
the hand that holds
the giant blade
that carved
this fruit,
has placed an owl
in the foreground
            the artist herself, perhaps.
 
‘Once mango juice
drips from your elbows,’
the owl says
 
‘- tu nunca te iras.’
(you will never leave).

Bronwyn Mehan is a writer currently based in Darwin. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in The Sleepers Almanac, CrimeSpace, Famous Reporter, Hecate, dotlit and page seventeen (forthcoming)...