Moonlight Knocking

by Mia-Francesca Mcauslan

Woke up with my head in your lap, your arms limp by your sides, the seat too tight. The window was luminous and I thought it was the moon, tapping on the glass. The security guard lowered his torch and moved his arm in a circular motion. Your body, warm beneath my hair, moved too quick and my head thumped onto the seat.

Can’t sleep here, he said.

The words must have fumbled around in your French Canadian head, your eyes half-closed, your cock half-hard. I was still lying on the seat with your jacket wrapped around.

The abrupt wake up left no room for softness, for quiet stirrings, and only confirmed the morning as a place of confusion and something like trauma. We crawled out of the car, you and I, into the dawn.

The red station wagon was parked awkwardly in the empty car park. We were in the middle of crossing the Queensland border, flocking towards gentler weather. I was equipped for the unforgiving heat of that summer, my skin lubricated from the tropical sun. Yours was so white from the snow that it shone. In the morning light your rounded shoulders looked like polished stones.

We walked to the edge of the car park at the bottom of the lighthouse. The ocean was brimming beneath us. So calm it could melt. Your eyes so grey they leaked. The security guard lingering in shadows, shining torches in the windows of vacant cars. The sound of frightened ’roos scattering leaves. Eventually he must have gone.

We sat there on a wooden bench drifting between awake and asleep while I dreamt of my childhood. I had memories of my mother behind the wheel of a car, my sister asleep in the back. Parked in different streets, police always knocking on the window. We moved like nomads through the night. The rainwater sloshing around our ankles, we slept with our feet up on the seats. I heard my mother humming in that dreamlike state, her eyes so red. There is no peaceful sleep inside a car. There is only a place between rest and awake, something that the body does and has to do.

We sat there until the sun came up and for a few hours after that. In your own language you whispered over and over again:

Today my love the leaves are thrashing against the wind. 

(Aujourd’hui mon amour les feuilles s’envolent au vent)

I tried to wrap my mouth around the oval sounds the same way you did but my lips were too loose. We cooked beans on the gas stove. We lay on the patchy grass. Our backs twisted from the embrace, stiff from the night and the galas calling to each other, pink like the sky. We walked back to the car, the tar so hot it stuck to our shoes, and I slept all the way to Port Macquarie.