The oval end of it

by Natalie Sakarintr

Each summer, I shed my skin like a cicada
and eat custard apples with both hands,
holding them toward the sun.

In December I wake up dreaming of the flood.
I have wrung it out again, one year in every ten.
The crack in the spine and
the dog ear of my quarter life.
And somewhere nearby is a place where
I used to live. It tastes like cold water
and there are organs playing
—a harmonica stuffed in my sister’s pocket, whistling.

In another life I say:
I was born in Phuket before the tsunami.
I give myself a new name it is Margot
it is Pygmalion and the sculpture.
It is the choked river, pockets full of coins
orange peels and egg shells.

Now I wake up dreaming of the fires
my burnt hands, my hanging broken arm. We light things
on fire and call it burning off /we call it preparing. Now—
more than ever it feels like I am suffocating. All these plants dying around me
and swimming in the ocean with my eyes open again.
What it means to be a girl and what I’m made up of.
The things I want to burn.

Natalie Sakarintr is a writer and aspiring editor from Melbourne. She is currently studying the Masters of Writing and Publishing at RMIT. Having grown up in rural Victoria, she is interested in displacement and identity. She has been previously published by Going Down Swinging, The Bowen Street Press and Potluck Magazine.

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