For readers outside Australia, in case you don’t know, Numbats and Bilbies are incredibly cute, small, native Australian animals.
In a Better World
In a better world numbats and bilbies are not endangered
and cats live in city palaces
like divine spirits with their human-robot slaves.
And I could look into a mirror
without saying affirmations.
In a better world the long lash bruises
on my now extinct childhood flesh
would not bend and break my mind
every time I am naked
every time I feel a sense of attraction.
In a better world, I would believe that you could understand
and you would know that my shyness and back-turning
and fleeing is not out of disinterest.
In a better world, I did not end up in the Ghetto
and I do not wipe drool and faeces for a living
while daydreaming of a future as a poor writer sleeping in my car.
In a better world, I would leave here.
Every day in a better world I would lie down
in the centre of an alien crop ring
encircled by tall golden wheat
I would gaze up at the vast blue-domed sky
and overhead small birds
with vibrant yellow and green wings
would be heading towards the dam to bathe
and grasshoppers would sing stories to me
which I would write, even if they weren’t any good.
In a better world when a family faces war or terrorism
we would all rush to help them from the violence and ruins
open our spare rooms
and freezer chests
empty our closets and lives
from the excess
so we could personally
feed and clothe them
until they, like fledglings,
are able to spread their wings and fly.
In a better world, I could trust you enough to hold me.
In a better world, I would bake a loaf of wheat bread
and the stomachs of the world would be full.
– Wendy Beach c.2016