Adele Aria – Two Poems


I hate the labels
You’ve made available for me
Non Something
Something Diverse
Person of Not Like You
Off the right path
Off centre
Of Something
All it says
Is Distinct from easily accepted
Different from preferred
and palatable

Consume my image
Devour my body
Ignore (my) protests
Regardless (our) humanity
Use me to frame your argument
Hold up (your) products
Shape y(our) ideas

I perform
With your language
Of Words, Clothes, Manners
I am Masterful
I will never be Master
Because I am not man
Nor owner
Of me in public

Even my traumas
Carefully dripped out
Coffee pressed
Milked into whiteness
Sweetened with language
Served like I am
Conveniently small
Easily contained

Wrangled into a vessel

I’ll pack back into the cupboard.

Fiercely Independent

Trying on other people’s bodies
Looking for love
To plug up the holes
Of scars that
Are secretly wounds
Weeping tears
I never cry

Witnessed by anyone
I fear losing
Are snack-size
Candy bar versions
Of history
To make a semblance of
Getting closer



Adele writes non-fiction and poetry with occasional forays in short fiction. An advocate for human rights and social change, they draw on their studies and personal experiences of complex trauma, domestic violence, disability, and queerness to explore the politics of existence and identity, and the ways in which we integrate personal and shared histories. They have been published in international and Australian literary and academic publications. A bisexual genderqueer person of colour, Adele is grateful to be living and writing upon Noonga Boodjar.