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Aotearoa: a romance

I hate these aggressively insular New Zealanders.

Robyn Hyde: Journalese

1

A kiss. And she
               disappears
               through the kamahi.
               I catch her
as she fastens
               her bodice
               with the hand
               that stroked me.
I need to lick
               nameless wounds
               from knowing
               flesh, ‘let me
enter your dark….’
               I count on tomorrows—
               they’re numbered
with the buttons
               of her blouse.
               She’ll leave me
               in the dark.

2

An arabesque
cracks the ice. Revellers
scatter over Lake Ida. ‘Stay
if you love me’!

Her fingers glide over
my shoulders. But
that black water!
one kiss, I spin

out. Finally
it pleases her to come
in: ‘My hero!
Where’s your brother?’

3

You were wonderful
               as the novel
I could never be
               the hero of:

I watched another
               fulfil that role:
my ideal ghost, young
               and well endowed.

Whatever he thought
               I said. But now
you have mistaken
               the words they shape

for these lips. I shrug
               off your caress
like a beggar’s hand.
               I’m a shrill husk

the wind must play through.
               I’ve never loved.
Don’t trust the lyrics
               I offer up,

they’ll betray you too.

30.11.1988, Church Square, Christchurch – 18.1.1989, Napier

 


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