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[Poems I wrote when I was 20]

Slumber Party

To the back lies those thoughts

of idle fingers touching the day

clasping domesticity with entwined arms

the strip of sunlight,

slicing shards of branch and curtain.

Burning its warmth

across an open palm placed for sleep.

This role stirred in youth;

my best friends floor, her parents pottering,

the kitchen sounds their presence.

The sacred place of sleep

bare breath, sharing the unconscious.

Lying in separate worlds together,

stealthily inching molecules towards you

and felt in the silence of Sunday,

rain kicked up by the heels of trucks,

my moment of allocated time.

 

Thinking love

Why have you come here?

To be your friend, to talk to you

Ah – it is because you love me still.

 

In its initiation I thought about civility.

Devising a blue-print,

a map of a city.

Multiplied and subtracted

there were plenty of circles

that overlapped without remainders

(unless divided by indecision).

The conclusion is complicated but its core structure

has something to do with virtue –

as well as practicality.

It is a modern adaptation or a provincial, cobble-stoned court.

I settled on this image seeing chivalry stoop

to kneel my conclusion.

I’d miscalculated one important detail:

your title is only something that struts.

 

Reminded of Chevalier and Manon

in the bar he too watched her out of the corner of his eye.

Drinking speeches of love, instead of beer.

He told his mates he had moved on.

I have my pride, I was betrayed.

Laughed as they recreated her and tried to believe her stupidity.

Then he went home and wept,

in sobbing remembrance and disbelief

hoping to be held and felt again.

 

And me?

You always assumed my place of loving you still.

I’ve never been that close.

Actually, I was inching ahead long before you turned around and conceded.

I have been imagining the thought,

running towards true beauty.

 

The garden by our flat

has been meticulously tended

by some unseen hand.

Working at night to recreate scenes of domesticity

that none of us have time to engage in ourselves.

the hand erects trestle for creepers

and plucks knife edge trenches around the lawns.

A cat is placed each day under the deciduous tree

it roles in dirt and greets the tenants as they arrive home

we each feel it belongs to us.

Washing appears on he lines as if by magic

and the bins stand erect on the pavement come Tuesday night.

Nasturtiums bloom and die,

sparrows nest in the trees,

and some unidentifiable creature

shrieks every second heartbeat

on mornings we want to lie in.

At night possums jam,

corrugated high-hats clash with

the strains of throaty voices.

The lights go on the stairs at seven, or nine in summer

and the tenants remark that it doesn’t feel

like the flats they’ve lived in before

and start reminiscing about the gardens

they played in as kids.


[These poems were written prior to my twentieth birthday and have been published here, 18 years later, unedited and in full]

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