Hibiscus | Anne Elvey | Issue 7

A long quill writes air

with invitation. Crimson lasts

for a day or two once it opens toward sky

or unfolds amid variegations

of leaf. You glimpse the design

of each pinked edge. In green

and off-white spills, every vein

happens against a flow.

Think time: how it keeps

a loss or binds a sudden future

how you live inside an old

regret, how this was always

a fractious fearing to repeat.

No leaf is the same as any other

they say, as if you might mistake

them. The case is closed. A floral

feather droops now in softening

scarlet, and you have cut and sketched

a leaf’s slow flecks. It will

die, as you will, but likely

sooner. Then should you find

another course that livens, as sap

leaking from where you clipped.

Anne Elvey lives on Boonwurrung Country in Seaford, Victoria. She is author of On arrivals of breath (2019), White on White (2018), Kin (2014), & co-author of Intatto/Intact (with Massimo D’Arcangelo & Helen Moore, 2017). Anne holds honorary appointments at Monash University and University of Divinity.

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