[This poem was first published in print in issue 2 of sugarcane in October 2018, which was made possible by the generous financial support of The Alumni Friends of the University of Queensland.]

Aidan Carter-Cusack


I am the word that sanctifies Blood in the artifice of death — What mazy work my wing defies In transports of the unblown breath —

No. The old bones are fraught with sound And I, strange organ, root alone — And by red banks that mark me round I live and die upon the stone.

Then I am the word speaking death E’er mouthing dumb I come and go — And I am throat and lips and breath More than the blood may ever know.


About the author: Aidan Carter-Cusack studied Latin at UQ.