Remembering Zora Cross, the Love Poet of Queensland
A large house across the road was being renovated by a foreign doctor.
Aboriginals had lived there.
The workmen burned the shabby reminders of their stay on a
great bonfire and replaced them with all kinds of olde worlde
There were plaster Virgins for the gate posts, two new gates
both faced with lyres.
There was an expensively-dressed woman who looked cheap.
Ruritanian breeds of pet, which, like the woman, seemed on hire
From some strange warehouse, and from some pained sense of duty.
There were busts of William Shakespeare, who is deep.
On several occasions before he moved in, the doctor dropped
in to do a little handiwork himself.
He’d arrive on a bright, metallic-coloured motor-bike.
It looked like the thorax and abdomen of an insect that had
somehow stung itself.
His head was small; an insect’s head, all bite.
He was a youngish man. His face was somewhat crowded by his features.
He had gentle features and longish hair.
Once, I saw him in his expensive clothes, gently retrieving
one of his tiny, pretentious cats from under the wheels of
I’d notice how he loved the open air.
Then, no matter how cool or grey it was, he’d always strip
to the waist.
His torso was in violent contrast to his delicate head and clothes.
It was too large for his head, sexual, and lightly sculpted.
Dark hair swarmed in the swerves and creases of the skin;
Dark hair that looked even more violent because the skin
itself was so white.
It looked like someone’s filling with that straggling
Like buttered damper spread with vegemite.
To me, the fact that his face was gentle and refined while
his body was swarthy, was erotic.
To me, the fact that his mood was gentle while his body was
uncouth, was erotic.
To me, the fact that he was snobbish while his body was
tattooed and hirsute, was erotic.
To me, the fact that he had the same body in hot weather as
he had when it was grey was also erotic, erotic and sad.
To his girlfriend, that body was a normal thing; it wasn’t
Desire. To have what she had never had.
Vol. 8 No. 8 · 8 May 1986 » Harry Cummins » Remembering Zora Cross, the Love Poet of Queensland
page 17 | 487 words