Spinifex Press, North Melbourne, 1998
I, too, can love you
in my dialect, you know,
punctuated with cicadas
and their eternal afternoons —
To love in a language prised from my wishbone.
To sing a landscape where village girls once burst
the moon with giggles.
To dance through the fattest eye of a rice-grain —
To do all these in peace and war is the wish
embodied in Merlinda Bobis’ poetry.
From her epic poem Cantata of the Warrior Woman Daragang Magayon
to lyric reflections on longing,
to an erotic poetry-dance-drama,
Bobis traces the cartography of desire
and its intimacy with death —
I am the mouth remembering
the coupled heaving of women
and men in another passion
called a war.
I am deeply furrowed
by the universal scar.