On Going All The Way to Melbourne in Order to Avoid Talking to Anyone

Erin McFadyen

Alone in bed,

and you love it — feeling your

hot breath steam from the hollow of your mouth

to your



glistening, the button on your jeans like a peach pip —

listening to the pigeons

     slide slick

down the barrel of the sky.

You s’pose you should

feel bad about

this unnatural circling south in the southern winter,


yourself well away

from those you must love,

    hoarding warmth

    for yourself.

Outside, a tram slips

out of its stop.

You picture your

face in its pseudo-glass,

rippling cheeks, the mouth not rippling,

the hot breath pools round

  the glottis,

soft palate,

           the tongue,

and you love it —

  gripping this choice not to smile

hard from bed, where you

lay really

eerily still,

sticking your mind to

the walls of your skull,

slipping your fingers through

the guilt and the gooey mass

of this barrel of yourself,

this bare sky.


Erin McFadyen has a background in performance and written-text poetry. Her work has appeared in Men In This Town, Sibyl, the University of Sydney Student Anthology, and Hermes, where she is currently undertaking an editorial role. She has particular interests in lyric poetry, poetry of place, and the voices of women’s experience.

PoetryARNA USYDPoetry, 2018