The foot of the wedge-tail eagle presses against the sky, littered with spears. The night is so clear you can hear the Seven Sisters scream in the dark, chased by that Old Man, by that greedy one who would take them all for wives.
In Scorpio, two lovers unable to separate, run for their lives, pursued by Waputju – the girl’s father – & by the guardian of the circumcision ceremony. The boomerang flying to kill them explodes in a cloud of tears.
Old Tutama prods the fire with his stick & waits for my reply. “Whitefella way, different way,” I tell him. Stories of Black Holes, Schrödinger’s cat, the Big Bang, one hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second…
“You see that star?” I say. “It might’ve blown up before you were born, but its light is still coming towards us.”
Tutama reaches for a lump of bush tobacco behind his ear, rolls it quietly between dry palms. Skin warm, stomach full, not wanting to disturb the universe, he accepts what I say with the dignity of a man who understands how a whitefella will tell you almost anything.