Melissa Bellanta


To anoint you

You slid from me in a gush, my love

and I held you shuddering
your body glistening:
the holiest, richest

bloodiest moment of my life.

When I think now of those
early weeks, some things are
pared-back, bleak as a desert;
me, a tiny figure
staggering in an unknown expanse.

But at the sight of you then, as now,
my heart was a jet gushing up
like oil
my love for you gleaming black, blood
slippery in the desert sun.

Now, as then, when I see you
my heart wells thick:
gold sticky, olive rich
my whole being unstoppered

to anoint you



Melissa Bellanta is an historian living in Sydney. She divides her time between Eva Rosa (her daughter), her work on late nineteenth century Australian environmentalists, and a love-affair with Pablo Neruda’s poetry.