Poems by Aleksandra Lane

Emma Smith, "Blue" (2009).
Emma Smith, "Blue" (2009).

Card games

I was just about to take some liquid
nitrogen, because no problem
ever lurks in steam, when my dear neighbour says

let's play some nude card games. Steaming, of course
I said no. But there are cards and card games:
nothing dirty, nothing too out there. Just

hands and touching, here and there. Touching
the way we touch and go a mesmerising disaster.
Look at all the papers out there going for it. Swirling

around town. I knew some of them by name.
But let's play.

                            Forget the tear gas. The lilts. Shoves
and pushes. Touching we let the world stay solid. And
the world touches back, gently, lovingly, in lieu
of disasters.

Three cheers for liberation

The best fish flies in entirely unexpected. Yesterday's
silver bullet with origami fins. We do not fillet the topic,
it has far too much gravitas. It spins. Please turn the whale
music down. Roger. I see your turntable is also back in fashion:
just don't forget to bandage the broken newsflash.

Right, you say, the wrong. But salt does not eat you out
like a toothache. No, you say, it's more of a migraine. Exploding
abbreviations of nuclear powered rust. Roger means well
but is often found with trouble. As if trouble spreads itself out
warm on the bed just calling his name. Eating lead off the fish
and chips, you know he won't live long. You say bless you
when the ground troops arrive. Geiger's gurgling syrup means
business. Now we're all out of hygiene, try pharmaceuticals for dust.


Each of us chooses an egg.

Uncle who has just passed away
gets the blue.

My first cousin wraps herself around
her sunny child. Yellow.

The boy next door brings a wooden one.
(We let him win for a while.)

My mother picks the most stubborn of the lot,
one that remains intact when all the others
are crushed and crumbed into saffron yolk.

The late uncle sneezes and we close all
the windows.

I tell you April has wide nostrils
and a touch of hay fever.

“Card games” is forthcoming in
Swamp 9; “Three cheers for liberation” was first published in Takahe 72; “Easter” in Sport 39.