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Hear say
1

it takes more than your word to
lift another sun
in a different world you must

hold your tongue
it’s a different world
mysteries lint the pockets of children

marry here, where
blackberry
falls into the river, your laughter

ripples

2

Along your favourite river rainbow trout scrape
away their scales. Under the bridge
the girl who taught your cheeks to colour

turns her love upon the finger of another.
Weigh her heart against a feather –
which one makes you laugh more?

3

A woman held
to the song’s tempo, yet
free. She gives

her self; she comes
only to go
back to another.

4

a womaniser’s petty
ambition has many influential friends
the draft that fills her night-gown
the candle that flickers over her breasts
the pillow that breathes in the scent of her hair

and one enemy
the louse on her eiderdown
she knows it is not like her man
it will not suck
every last drop of blood

5

Under your bed
a jug of water, black bread
and a bottle of vodka.

At night cigarettes taste better
and bread is more sustaining.
Sleep during the day. When you wake

there will be no fatherland, only
a house with its lights out
and stars in the pear-tree.

November 1992, Cathedral Square, Christchurch

 


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