TJ Wilkshire is a Brisbane based artist and writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and English Literature and is currently completing a Master of Arts at The University of Queensland. Wilkshire’s poetry has been published on Peril, Writer’s Edit, and Uneven Floor, as well as winning the Kingshott Cassidy poetry scholarship and being shortlisted for both the 2016 and 2017 NotJack Competition. Wilkshire’s works, both creative and academic, are inspired by birds and feelings of displacement.

The honeyeaters.

“I am half a soul.”
I roll the words around my tongue
And slip them down my throat.
I say them again
And I see your face,
like a Kingfisher.

The car pulls up next to yours,
the child inside is three months old.
You know we are there.
The woman’s gaze is piercing,
like ice.
No, not like ice.
Like a lover.
And yet your eyes do not shift.
And yet you drive away.
And the woman tastes no more of sweetness.
And your child will not know your sweetness.
And yet you drive away,
taking it with you
leaving two women
to become hard like marrow.
Two half-souls.
Two Honeyeaters.

Dear Father,

At morning –
I mistake the sunlight’s
skittish movements on the ceiling
for Yellow Turks, flying.
they are dancing.

Looking for something
to sweeten my headache,
I peel myself from a deflated air mattress
that through the night
eagerly reunited itself with timber floors.

I meet with my friend’s father
in the hallway.
Eyeing empty bottles and cigarette butts,
he raises his eyebrows.
I notice they are like his daughter’s,
and I wonder where my curls came from,
though I already know.
So instead, I wonder what you look like.