New Worlds

Laura Woollett

Laura Elizabeth Woollett was born in Perth in 1989. She currently resides in Melbourne, and has recently completed a Bachelor of Creative Writing and Philosophy. Later this year, she plans to travel to Avignon, where she will study French, before returning to the University of Melbourne for her postgraduate education. Her work is inspired by mythology and she has a passion for the art of the Pre-Raphaelites.



swift albine
beneath the evergreen

coniferous bristles
won’t penetrate that

kissed by frost
death-lips upon navel

going down
drawing a shiver
out of soul

A tiny heart scampers
inside a cold breast
Europe’s bluest blood

freezes in its veins,
as berries

weight the leaves above
fat & dark as blood clots

bears down
scoops up
the virgin’s lifeless body.



Hard to believe that your blood flows through them,
my dear
So cold
So marble-bright

Like rivers in relief:
Euphrates, Tigris,
or your native Volga
(a Slavic thing, you’ve told me,
like your Tatar eyes,
your morosity).

At other times,
they have the look of earth fragmented:
Tectonic plates
trapping heat
swelling strength
another volcano—

or else the roots of some old, great oak:
feeding pale sinew
bulging after the elbow
into white-muscled boles
and pits of lush green-brown
where arm meets shoulder.

In the spaces between
I see landmasses
cut gems
the plates of a tortoise’s shell
I see Venice from above,
broken by canals

my gondola tongue travels down.

My lips chafe, endlessly
over those dry blue rivers
rivers old and young,
never breaking the skin
never tasting the source
of your lifeblood

You tense up,
as strong and vulnerable as a god.