Jo Langdon lives in Geelong and is currently completing a PhD (creative thesis plus exegesis) in magical realism at Deakin University. She writes poetry and fiction, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Whitmore Press poetry prize.

I’m reminded of a time my mother
chased garlic down my throat with
spoonfuls of jam & honey,
ousting a broken fever, her face
stitched tight with worry
over my penicillin allergy.
My Dorothy shoes kicked softly
against the polished doors
of the kitchen cupboard.
She’d sat my doll body on the bench
hours before, crimping my yellow hair
for the party we left early.
This morning, she relates the details of a dream
in which I fall pregnant with six babies,
my stomach filling out like the moon.
As a child I complained she never wore
her wedding dress or rings. It took uncounted
years to see how she wears her love.
I accepted it from the spoon, counting
cloves that glowed like white-eyed stars
as she wore worry on her wrists,
a bracelet of lines, tense as a watch.
Night story
The is day still with winter,
the water brown & duckless.
Before showing stars
the sky turns
blue as the pulse
hidden in your wrist.
You drive me home &
the lit vein of highway
streams with cars like columns
of iridescent ants.
The city fills the windscreen,
moves like an aquarium.
Lights like neon fish & somewhere
a little plastic castle.
I’ll think of how,
you wear your heart on your face
like a child.
Tonight your reflection fills the windows,
holograms the swimming traffic.
We assign an easy currency
for thoughts.
You ask for mine &
the ones I’ll give you are,
stars curled around Earth
in a seashell spiral of galaxy;
a little red planet
floating in my eye,
& a pond I want to fill
with coat hanger swans.
Walking to the Cinema, the Weekend it Rained

I watch the rain curl
your hair as we spill into
the black river road.
Street lamps & taillights
reflect & shimmer like flares
or tropical fish. 
In the foyer we
lose beads of water to the
salted star carpet.
A constellation
beneath our feet: popcorn &  
yellow ticket stubs.
We communicate
wordlessly; sideways gestures
in the cinema.
Pictures on the screen
fall on our skin, colour us
as we crunch candy.