no geography

Alif Dodds

when we fucked we tore off pieces of land from eachother’s bodies. his body was a roiling, unstable landscape full of pockmarks and bruises; mine was fertile, and gave life. two pools permeated in between the ridges of his brow and when they furrowed, the water flooded. I sank into the bottom of the river whenever he’d glance, and the toss, the turn of my stomach gave way to shape a new continent. where the bed was, was empty space, and a place to use bodies, to create new landforms but only to find no geography. sweat became a dense thick rain which condensed on the whole vista of his breast, a rain which coalesces into large reservoirs of water which were his blood. when he bled, droughts happened, and curtains lay still to bear witness to the great loss of liquid from his body. I asked him “what kind of blood is that?”, to which he’d say “my mother’s, passed to me without my permission”. a lightheadedness punctured the centre of the plain after this drought, when the soil was too dry and crops refrained from growing. to return the water table he’d cast his hands in coal and graphite, a sticky black tar which would fertilise the plateau. feet would freeze from the gradual onset of cold water which made his skin, made that marshy swamp, supple and soft. “why am I bleeding still? why after 20 to 21 years am I bleeding still?”, he asked, knowing I had no answer and only more inquiries. the pain was too great I thought some days it would mean more to bow myself with a cello string, and be a star on the ceiling, a constellation on the great geography of his night. he said he’d much rather I stay alive and cry through the floods and droughts together, soil suffering with a lack of moisture and with an overabundance of tears. “no landscape can be lonely” was the thing he said, and I understood everything.

Alif Thomas Dodds is a Melbourne-based creative currently based in the city’s inner east, though with a background that spans multiple countries and nationalities. He is mostly known for his work as singer, songwriter and producer of the experimental electronic band Hospital, which has been his main creative output from 2014 onwards. However he is also an avid writer of short stories. His writing is influenced by a differing number of factors; his half-Indonesian heritage, his sexuality and late blooming, and his observation of the great, messy world around him.