DANCER WITH EYES ON THE PALMS OF HER HANDS TALKS TO THE FLOORBOARDS

by | Apr 28, 2016 | Poetry

If there is anything left to say, it is this: Stop Talking. When I look with the eyes on the palms of my hands, the floorboards come alive. They grow eyes in the knots where there used to be branches, eyes in the holes where the nails went through. The wood becomes like a changing sky with so many shades of brown, deep brown or golden brown or the colour of my Sam’s eyes, which could break your heart. Now there are eyes on my back, eyes on my feet, eyes all over my body. I’m moving so slowly. It takes a lot of time to see this much. Outside, the air is humming blue. Inside, the blue is humming, humming, I am like a flower that feels the coming wilt and blooms with all its might. You floor, let me fall through you, and I will bring back a mirror and the first face.

[from The Same as Yes, 2011]

Author photo: Ben Speare

About The Author

Joan Fleming

Joan Fleming grew up in New Zealand and studied creative writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, where she won the Biggs Prize in 2007. She has since relocated to Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of two books of poetry, The Same as Yes (VUP, 2011) and Failed Love Poems (VUP, 2015). She edited the 2015 edition of Verge, Monash University’s creative writing annual, themed around Errance, the act of travelling from one place to another without any clear destination, or a wandering of the mind.