Tricia Dearborn



At 37,000 feet, insulated by
riveted steel and double glazing
the air pressure’s not so low

that I can feel it.
You, on the other hand, sense it,
and your mark becomes more lush,

thickening my script, until you ooze
purple ink round the nib’s
gold rim. Then,

with a note of finality, you drip.
I mop you up, put you away,
lick my purpled fingers

and wipe them on the blue
standard-issue airline blanket. You
won’t sing again till we get home.



Tricia Dearborn is an award-winning poet and short-story writer whose work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies in Australia, the UK, the US and India. Her poem sequence ‘The Ringing World’ was joint winner of the 2008 Poets Union Poetry Prize, and her poem ‘Come In, Lie Down’ appeared in The Best Australian Poetry 2008. Her first collection was Frankenstein’s Bathtub (Interactive Press, 2001). In 2009 she received a Developing Writers grant from the Australia Council for the Arts. She is currently completing her second collection.

Dearborn writes: “I’ve kept a journal since I was eleven, and have used a fountain pen to do it since the day I discovered it made writing faster and easier for me. (My hand used to cramp round a biro.) ‘Canary’ was written on a flight from Adelaide to Sydney.”