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Joy Holley

Premature Nostalgia

You and I

have coaxed a baby alligator

out of the sewers


and we are feeding him

leftover birthday cake.

The smell of tea tree


is everywhere

and my hair is

on the sheet –


thick, black, curly –

waiting to be



We lie around

listening to poetry on cassette,

sleeping on the couch


while it rains.

You sculpt ears

and I squeeze


toothpaste onto plates.

There are tiny dresses

in the ice.


We travel by trolley,

turn rosebuds inside out.

Our alligator gets hungry again.


But there is no cake left

and we are already

missing him. 

Delaying The Inevitable

At 12, we turn the moon –
a volume knob – to zero.
We have been pretending for hours.
But now our lips
have bumped into each other
and we have stopped
still. Shaking,
they remain
together pressed,
soft as
mandarin flesh.
Our heavy breaths –
a nervous question.
We ask it many times.
The answer is

a thousand questions,
a timid confession,
a dream.
You fall asleep
while I lie watching
my ribcage swell;
silent as a rabbit,
a road at night,
a piece of tar. 

Joy Holley is currently studying English, Philosophy and Creative Writing at Victoria University. She finds supermarket shopping stressful because she spends all her money on records, lingerie and nut butter.