Kylie Rose is currently studying creative writing at the University of Newcastle. Her suite of poems, Doll Songs was commended in the 2006 Newcastle Poetry Prize and she received second place for her poem Shark Egg in the 2006 Roland Robinson Literary Awards. She lives with her four children in Maitland.


West Annex
Celestial Warehouse
Temple of Heaven

I always see a woman in the moon.
Concubine of solar congress,
frail geisha
undressed in the dark.

I never knew the moon was a man
until I found the closet
where he keeps
his sleeping tablets.

God of Nocturnal Brightness,
you fill and fail,
obedient to the seminal
will of the sun.

You will never look the same.


Summer Palace

Seventeen Arches Bridge.
Afternoon is an oyster,
caesarean opened,
pearly lake and sky
adhered to the luminous womb.

Seventeen Arches Bridge.
Men smoke, giving breath
to marble dragons. They fish
the ox-bronze sky with kites
on rod and reel.

Seventeen Arches Bridge.
Pleasure boats skim the peach
lake, hulls a flurry of bat
wings that fracture
my reflection.

Seventeen Arches Bridge.
I watch willows
defer to the mottled
milk of evening’s dawn.
Their branches lip the sun.

Seventeen Arches Bridge
divides this watery
day like a woman’s mineral
wrist escaping a heavy,
silver sleeve.


Forbidden City

Suited street vendors converge on the bus
carcass of maggot-white spenders.
Welcome swallows and willows
skim the moat like nimble tongues
affixed to no mouth.

The South Gate parts her lips
and admits me into her
illicit stone pipe.
Toward the secret lacquered chambers,
I tread the golden stones.

Women are still locked
up in palanquins and camphor coffers.
They chant
in empty chambers,
let me out.