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somewhere else the sea covers a stone you will never throw
the plums grow black under a sun that feels nothing
the wind smells of asphodel and the apprentice turns
back to make sure it is not his mother’s perfume

somewhere else one bird eats another looks on until its skeleton rubs
the fur from windfall plums
the line on a silent girl’s left hand matches
the line on a noisy boy’s right

neither boy nor girl will enter the box where your heart beats time
the box where plums have a musty sweetness
the apprentice mistakes for his mother’s perfume
and wings whisper

where else does the sea cover a stone you will never throw again

February–March 1994, Rue Balguerie, Akaroa


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