The Balcony Poem by David Brooks

The Balcony


Straight from the airport and already, in two days,
she has taken my virginity in more ways
than I can count. She is
outside on the balcony, translating poetry again,
carrying words
from one language to the other, bribing
the border-guards, arguing with the grammarians,
pulling the wool
over the eyes of the lexicographers.
I go out
and kiss her, so long this time
that it gets dark
and the street clears of traffic.
When I open my eyes
the moonlight almost blinds me.
She is
writing a message
with her tongue on my neck
in a language I don’t understand,
there are birds
nesting in my hair,
my skin
is singing
a wild, untranslatable jubilate.


The flying foxes are screeching in the trees outside the window.
They are angry and jealous and want us to stop.
We have been making love
for almost eighteen hours, they say,
and they are afraid for their reputation. We must
love to rule, they plead, no
moaning like this in the bedroom, no making
the floor-boards creak, no
sudden, explosive cries, no
comings without goings – only
launchings out from the balcony, ridings
on the evening thermals, glidings,
fruit-ward, arms
extended, against
the night sky.


She is
riding me, facing
and I am
deep inside her.
The moles
and freckles
on her back
are an unknown constellation.
On the other side
of the universe – much
too far away
and far
too dark to see –
there are
her perfect breasts,
her face,
her closed eyes.


We are sitting on a beach at night
and there is a storm out to sea. The lightning
illuminates the headland
with a regular, sudden halo
then races off, horizontally, for South America.
In the dark it leaves behind
the white
crests hasten toward us
wave after wave
as if there were almost no time left
as if there were almost
no time at all
and they were so desperate to touch us.


on a midsummer evening
and again
we start to kiss on the balcony.
Someone on the street
and a small group gathers.
There are cat-calls, cheers, mock applause,
someone else
arrives in a taxi,
a bus
pulls up
in the middle of traffic
with all of its windows open.
After a while
the crowd
stops jeering. People
watch on in utter silence.
When we look up
no-one is there,
the leaves
have fallen from the trees,
the koels
and swallows have departed,
it is almost winter.

David Brooks

David Brooks

Canberra / Australia
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