Zenobia Frost is a creative writing adventurer at Queensland University of Technology whose work has appeared in Going Down Swinging, The Definite Article and LOTL magazine. In 2007, she collaborated with musician Timothy Tate at the Queensland Poetry Festival as Colouring by Numbers. She keeps a photograph of Oscar Wilde beside her bed and takes particular interest in children’s literature.



A Poem Finds its Twin
 ~  for JH ~

Perhaps they were conceived
in one sanguine swell of thought,

and were somehow later
drawn apart, adopted out,

such that the words

took on different meanings,
wore different haircuts

and forgot.

They met years later, hanging about
at a reading in clusters of old poems,

printed and permanent,
freckled with commas but

still alive with shifting intonations.
There was confusion

but also calm.

It was as though one’s reflection
had reached out from the mirror

to take the other’s hand
and say, “I know, brother; I know,”

and nothing more.


with thanks to mr cummings

Not even the rain has such small hands as I.
These wrists might snap as soon as bend,
with batwing bones extending to the fingers.

A dainty hand that cannot open jars,
a girlish hand, with soft pink fingerprints
and wrists that might just snap as soon as bend.

But fingernails bitten to the quick:
a ragged end to all that charm,
that girlish hand, with soft pink fingertips.

Chaos-lined palms: what fate lies there?
A heart-on-sleeve adventure or perhaps
a ragged end to all that charm.

I hope it is the former they shall weave:
these hands brimful of curiosity.
A heart-on-sleeve adventure would be grand.

Yes, I think they were designed for impishness;
not even the rain has such small hands as I,
nor so restless, compelled by curiosity,
with batwing bones extending to the fingers.


My mouth is burning

You kissed me
with raw chillies
on your lips. You knew

revenge was best served
directly – forget plates
and forks and all that

coy formality. Just
feed it to me; I deserve
to eat my words.


Cicada Duet

1. Cicada escapes her shell.

How does she undress herself?
Dried upon my hand her castoffs seem
an armoured corset, and that zipper
down the back doesn’t really give.

She must squeeze out like a newborn,
skin moistened with morning dew.


2. Cicada courts the night.

He is but a shell already –
no former self to speak of:
a resonance chamber whose quest
has become him. When he calls to her,

he must deafen himself, so as
not to hear his loneliness.

Note: The male cicada disables his tympana (membranous structures used to detect sounds) when calling so that he does not damage them.