Whale Teeth

Whale Teeth was written for Melbourne Knowledge Week 2017. You can read the full piece here.

Whale Teeth was written for Melbourne Knowledge Week 2017. You can read the full piece here.

<memory file> Everything smells damp – before the storm walls broke the swell would still crest over sometimes and even with the enormous heat nothing ever felt quite dry. His body there in the bed, the tangle of limbs, the push and slide of it so familiar. Watching from the doorway, the shopping bags cutting into your fingers, heavy with the cans you’d paid more for than you could afford. The doors onto the balcony hanging open, the room lit with greenish light from the floodwater reflections rippling across the mouldy ceiling. Below, out the window covered in plastic sheeting, the water gurgling all around. That feeling like the holding of a hot thing, a bright flash before the pain. A single can tears through the shitty plastic and suddenly they’re all thumping out across the lino, rolling and knocking against the legs of the mismatched furniture you’d salvaged together. And his face lifts from the other and sees you there in the doorway and his expression is enough to rupture the moment and then you’re gone, back down the ruined staircase in that half-sunk building and out onto the narrow edge of porch left jutting above the water with the torn plastic still fluttering from your fingers and your breath caught in you like something broken.