Aimee Norton is a research astronomer with a PhD from University of California, Los Angeles. She is a lecturer and researcher at James Cook University in Queensland. An emerging poet she has published in Many Mountains Moving, Paper Wasp, Byline and Literature in North Queensland (LiNQ). She was a featured reader in 2008 at Edge: A Reading Series of Emerging and Young Writers hosted by Casa Libre en la Solana in Arizona and a finalist in the 2005 poetry competition hosted by Many Mountains Moving as judged by Marcus Cafagna. She enjoys the parallel ways in which physics and poetry can compress great, big experiential truths into small spaces.
On the Road to Sexual Freedom
I’m grateful to lovers, every one, who flashed me the salt in their eyes
or Morse coded me in pleasure text to say passion
is a part of compassion. But my memories are pocked on all sides
by girls in tight cotton wearing NO on silver necklaces,
bank tellers of reproduction, these ascetics sat upright
with books covered in the brown, grocery-sack paper of thrift.
They insisted I do the same. Fear rose from them like startled birds.
The No-girls quick-syllable words were bought behind counters
stocked with lottery tickets and plastic saints.
I pitied such shortsighted chastity.
What they called a one-night stand was transformative.
Sex dissolved pain in the detergent of time. How empowering
to be chosen, even neon-light briefly, by another.
As a genius teenage fuck, I won the Nobel Prize for loving
several years running. My talent was seeing each brittle yeoman
for who he really was. In return, I was dubbed as easy, gained
a reputation spread by the fire tongues of the No-girls,
I threatened the sexual economy. Brigitta called me Slut
in her strangled pigeon voice. So I played parade music,
straight-ahead drum and bugle, and marveled on the downbeats
at all the No-girls didn’t know. This: a talisman against loneliness
is an old lovers name spoken aloud. And this: even a memory
of being held remains strong against the bowhead of time.
So here’s my note to the sanctimonious: Stop dinging
the sides of my dreams with fictive piety. Up ahead,
I see the Romeo nation, where Latissimus Dorsi curve
into the small of men’s backs and a chorus of stories
are sung as forearms become blunt instruments of bliss.
a spell of indifference
This body, it could be any body.
Rather, any body could be mine.
And the town, well, it is any town –
the street names wiped clean at dawn.
My husband, an arbitrary man,
is no less and no more than other men.
The children, small dear loaves of life,
are randomly being drawn out by time.
Anywhere, with any one,
any me could be.
I can’t tell if the sentiment
is laudable or laughable,
whether I’ve attained enlightenment
But clearly, it doesn’t matter.
The menu is always the same.
The apples arrive with
their leafless stems,
and the bird outside my window
is the same one outside yours.