Two Poems by Izzy Roberts-Orr

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Photo by Jared Zimmerman. Image reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

Sometimes the Ocean Falls on You, Even When the Coastlines Are Far Away

Seagulls scattered over granite steps
like hot white ash.

You wanted your body buried.

The sea is coming for me, too
slinking under the sound of traffic,
circling the curb.

Trees breathe ghosts into this air,
dream of powerlines
touching their branch tips.

They reach under the bitumen
trying to entwine their roots.

Sometimes, the pavement sings
with the memory of a forest –
echoes projected like a hologram,
scrawled over glass and cement.

Sometimes ‘so far’ and ‘so close’
are the same thing.

I remember you
cutting your toenails,
brushing your teeth,
sitting in dawn light.


Water Conducts Electricity

We race for the horizon like we could ever reach the end of it, until the shoreline is so far away Marion’s a speck. A long, thin, worried speck – he doesn’t like swimming. The water’s warm and reflects back sun like shards. I scrunch my nose so I don’t sneeze. Somehow, we are holding onto each other in the water and my skin feels like it’s made of bubbles. You swim to shore with me on your back and I try to count the freckles between your white shoulder blades, slicing through the waves. I worry you’ll get sunburnt. You do.


These poems appear in The Lifted Brow #30. Get your print copy here, or get the digital edition here.

Izzy Roberts-Orr is a Melbourne writer, editor, radio producer and hurricane. She is also co-director of the National Young Writers’ Festival and Executive Producer of The ReReaders podcast.