I wish all my friends could transform into eagles.
I know it sounds crazy,
to wish they could soar high above the spine of the world,
a cresting wave of bone and talon above bastions of pine and rock
and cold mountain glen.
To wish they could become
arrowheads in the dawn, raw and torsional,
with pink salmonflesh caught like tallow between their claws.
I know I am delusional to want some kind of infinite
and intangible joy for everyone around me.
I wish the child outside my balcony,
who crushes stray acorns with the roots of his heels,
finds a drop of meaning with every footfall.
I hope the pretty girl down the corridor,
who hums of jezebels and vinyl tracks,
converts everyone to veganism with her awkward, waning smile.
And I wish you could tell me all your funny little stories,
like the time you ate shampoo on a five dollar bet,
or the reason you collected
a hundred cicada shells in the jars on your windowsill.
Instead of just the sad ones.
Instead of just the lonely ones.
Like the time the doctors said your muscles wouldn’t grow,
or the time the ballet teacher stretched your knee joints too far,
or the time the sun burnt your skin so badly
it became snow flaked
and scoured a hundred hot volts of electricity down your shoulders.
I wish the lovers could be caught in the
unyielding tenderness of their skin
and the tyrants find their thrones of dirt.
And I wish all my friends could transform into eagles.
I think that’s really all I want,
to have been worth a damn to all these people in my life.
Wishing and wishing and wishing
till everyone I know soar
as birds do in the frozen air,
tracing their fingers along the cloud banks,
washed in the colour play of their feathers.
But I think I know the truth,
that even if I’m gone,
somewhere out there,
colonies of birds are screeching through the sky,
colonies of birds are finding homes tonight.
While I’ll just be sitting here on a park bench,
with sparrows circling the bread crumbs in front of me.
We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and emerging. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.