Map Anatomy/The Australian Dream, Bruna Gomes

Photo by Angela Roma on Pexels

Map Anatomy


Vovó’s fingers
Are soursop-flesh directories
In the fruit aisle

Mamãe’s wrists
Pave pink guides
To my guava bloodline

My daughter’s unborn fist
Salutes the passionfruit vines
Of my destination

My palms lined with these
Road-maps, roots deep,
Fit perfectly in my pocket.


wrist: riverbed of purple ancestry
heel: cheek of papaya flesh, overripe
palm: cut-glass chalice collects pulp
finger: macaw claw to take off, to land
knuckle: mound of earth to hold seedling
fingernail: machete slices guava rind. swift.


train track
back towards
east tree
sinks roots
beneath ruptures
ocean body

touring terrain
wrinkles gulley
time plain
with seeds
my spirited
fingers aground

destination distances
mão from
boca from
coração blood
maps ripens
past life

The Australian Dream

to love a sunburnt country is to first                rub the land with aloe vera

     recognise that it is burnt                rest it in the shade

    white picket fences                unlock homes

line the jaws of suburbia and gnaw            smelling of seaweed meat

red and raw throat, turn the boats back               from the ocean of glowing gills

one drunk dream we make sure            the exotic tree abroad

                     does not land on our shores                has nothing on our sweet flesh

                    with our backs turned, we              blushed in sugar-lip victory

              sign invasion into settlement                from farm to football field

                           catch hungry man into criminal                 surrendered to living the sunny life

                    kill black kid into statistic                the sporty life, win again

                  slip slop slap your sunscreen                protection from our elders

         smear everything in white              their light is warm

                                 rubbing alcohol until              the burn turns to embrace

                   everyone is blackout drunk              lapping up the salt ocean

                        high on their own             spirit like rainbow

                         snake venom            serpent blood

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Bruna Gomes

Bruna Gomes is an Australian-Brazilian novelist and poet. Her writing plants cultural and emotional history with new seeds. In 2021, she published her debut novel How to Disappear, and her work is featured in various online journals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys eating almond croissants and reading at the beach.