My ravelled pasts uncoil along the level way I take to Spencer Gulf. The Murray stretches beside me— a diversion unseen in its shell. Its pipeline is like the lizard that warmed itself, under the road-train of the nation. Strong curves lie on the verge, ochre and ruddy, hide and hind. The rust of the soil runs in Clare’s wine, the lead of Pirie in the children’s blood. Sheep are the colour of country. At Port Augusta I read that Flinders sailed—until the water turned to ground. In his Ranges dry scrub hugs the soil. I hug the road. A kingfisher holds to a dead limb. Three emus pause in bow and peck beside a fence while a raven tastes the blue tongue’s broken flesh.