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  • Published 20230801
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-86-3
  • Extent: 196pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

GUS WANTS TO schmooze. He wants the insides of galleries, of darkened rooms with people who can help his career. He’s over there, with the gallery owner, trying to get representation. Tonight, we are at Linden. It’s 1995. There are many people we know, some we do not. He talks and talks and talks. I want to be down by the beach, where I don’t mind the noise of people everywhere, living, moving, playing, loving. Painting isn’t everything. It serves me, not the other way around.

I pull Gus towards me. It’s late and I need to lie down. My head is woozy from alcohol. I want to be held. My fingers tucked around the belt loops on his jeans, here he comes, towards me now. Outside, it is night. The air heavy with laughter. We walk home, asphalt radiating warmth after the day. Past this house, a jasmine hedge. I break off a branch to take home. Nearly there, we pause. We lean against a brick wall; together we reach for something in the other. Mouths pressing together, soft, slow. His tenderness is felt most when we are silent. Under streetlights, the flesh of our bare arms shines. At home in our rented terrace house in St Kilda, we move quietly; our breath is easily heard indoors. Alone, together.

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About the author

Jenni Mazaraki

Jenni Mazaraki is a writer living on Wurundjeri land (Melbourne). Her work has been published in the Australian Poetry Journal, The Suburban Review and...

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