you are carnivorous in your longing

night leached

to dawnbreak our


morning fettered by forgetting my

body open as

a wound


we are villainesque unrefrained

and despite my sleight of

tongue you know


all of my swords

are metaphors


my fist at the hilt my

throat not temple but sacrifice for

no-one taught me


not to want

or how to bear

baring your


belly with grit teeth

knowing we devour

all that we love


Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane, Australia. Her first book, The Agonist, won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and was published by University of Queensland Press in 2017. Shastra's work deals with the intersections of trauma, memory, and selfhood, with a particular focus on corporeality and embodiment.