The Hadean Eon – Joel Ephraims

The Wollongong Botanic Garden, Keiraville

“Consider the adhesiveness of things
to the ghosts that prized them…”
– Anne Stevenson

It was still early in the day
when he wrote something down
which he thought might return
something he had dreamt in the night
like an envelope trafficked by enchanted
saliva licked stamp back to him.

We lived that autumn in the cosy rooms
of a jungle rose bought from a salesman
who designed submersibles and other
complex antiquated machines for stage sets.

The Northern Territory basking
all the while like a whispering mirage
on the continent’s back, a map folded
away neatly, though dog-eared,
left to ponder in crinkly dark under stars
and the lizard’s tail swish of desert nebulae.

“No mum I haven’t downloaded
your movie yet, I’ve been sitting in the kitchen
with those ridiculously talkative muffins
and exchanging gossip with these
lounging astronauts you let in,
feeding packet chips to junk food partial
pent-up forces. I do love you.”

The thing he wrote down
shifting in the sun like his body
under white sheet and little brother’s
Star Trek doona that past night still closed
to the significance of the once
known dream when it was raining
invisible buckets outside.

Later in the day wading through
nameless patches of a familiar garden.
Monsters strolling and exchanging pleasantries,
applying their sunscreens,
carrying eskies and mildewed
gothic-romance novels,
the usual devil may care attitudes
in the space by the fenced-off orioles
in the bowl impression where,
I think it was early last week,
one of the larger slightly shrunken
moons had fallen after dance class.

“I wrote a story about the Monopoly man
living in one of the plastic hotels
and crying because he became poor and
no one takes him seriously.
I wake up sometimes and feel
that I’ve dreamt something important too
and I can’t remember it either
even when I write things down.”