Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

jude ellison

light artefacts


Our task is to pull horses
dead from the sea but the sea

is too wide and the horses
too heavy. There's a refuge

from the wind but we are not
welcome there. The pier stretches

into the water where we
stand in the whitecaps because

we like to court disaster.
The stories we tell ourselves

about the stories we tell
ourselves don't hold water yet

I dream in seas I cannot
fathom. We try to count the

bodies but the numbers seep
into the sea. We cannot

find the horizon. Bodies
are artefacts of the light

and we carry them with us,
these light artefacts, heavy

in our hands. The horses are
dead mounds and they glimmer on

the shoreline. We must lift them.
We cannot lift them. We try.

home water


Why keep coming back
to this pond, algae beneath

your untrimmed nails? The catfish
knows your shadow; the forest

floods you; somebody sees
you circle the milk house ruins.

Look at those tracks. That dung.
Somebody's horse was here first.

Maybe it knows you, ghost;
maybe you haunt it, the horse.

Jude Ellison is a poet, a nonbinary queer and an immigrant whose writing explores collisions: the urban and the wild, the monolith and the marginal, the self and the story. Past publishing credits include Hayden’s Ferry ReviewTarpaulin Sky, and MAYDAY. Jude lives in Melbourne with two partners, one son and three cats.