I can’t recall her name. Maybe she was called Melbourne. Yes, that’s it, she was Melbourne: a name to which I have become an amnesiac. Strange, that I’m in amnesia when it comes to Melbourne. Why could that be?

Yet stores of mnemonic arousal remain: those dark permissive eyes, the gold-rush lithe & low register, parted sugared lips in demure growl, contrast to snow white visage, uttering curt, tense smalltalk in cigarette dampened submissive register, & CCTV peroxide curls, & like Lady’s day at the Flemington racecourse waxed legs that go on for days & vanilla young man’s scenarios, like nothing but a g-string beneath, like you can do whatever you want with me.

A working class girl, fundamentally, a Labour Party Irishwoman whose Western Suburb father is silently lost to the Antipodean morphic music that bares its naked tanned skin for me, her initial breath of self effacing modernity (truly) the federation, she’s the commonwealth of country, a southern cross and Union Jack belle on blue.

And how divorced from it was I, how utterly unaustralian, but precognitive of her Bicentennial beauty, abiding in & relish the finery of her white Australia policy. And how, in that moment, I studied her constitution as a stranger, if not an aboriginal then at least a Burke or a Wills.

Melbourne lay back and gave me the needy routine. From the ranges to Fitzroy, from La Trobe to the bay, traversing girls of her kind in technical college classrooms, in dusty miner’s cottages and 90s pop songs and theatric rehearsals surfeit of temptation, questioning glances, theosophical wicca Tecoma cleavage & Belgrave magic mushroom gothic free love, Lawson women, drover’s daughters: each deliciously tough and still tenderly unobtainable to my pubescent ego.

Girls above and below, the whole Victorian blood spectrum.

But it was Melbourne that gave her body to me that time, beside the Yarra river flow: Melly moaning mellifluous mezzo, surviving a trace scent of Peroxide curls upon pillow, and black eyes gazing into mine. Yarra submission within CCTV visage of silent fathers lost to the morphisms of Southern modernity. She was probably my age at the time. I can’t say I wasn’t enamoured. Melbourne taught me what it is to be a man …

Yet then, over the years, I forgot her name and all these things. Huh, how could that be?


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