Every April.

His laugh
would spread
its wings
echoing up the dull
school stair cases
over the shuffling of
tired feet
in Rugged Sharks,
or contra-banned
Doc Martins’
jet black hair, darker
than charcoal nugget
parted over pale skin
clutching a
half-drunk bottle of
V, glowing the green
of comic-book
nuclear waste,
gliding into first period
with a smile on his face
and crooked teeth.

Eyes clearer than the
ponds at Piccaninne
more still than a
breezeless day and how
I still recall their way,
the depth of their waters
then how they
began to drain as though
someone unplugged your pupils
and threw away
their stoppers
leaving empty lakes
which wouldn’t wait
for rain.

Seven years on
bottle green uniform
sold, and gone
I’ve carried you on trains,
planes, and over open water
I saw you in
the face of a man on
39th and Broadway
reading the headlines
on the Times
face stuffed with bagel,
in Fiji on the streets of Nadi,
faded board shorts loose
at the waist
barnacled with sea salt,
in Waikiki looking across the
city lights,
in the deepest night
in the middle of the desert
and always here in Melbourne
in the men with
jet black hair, darker
than charcoal nugget
parted over pale skin
framing eyes full
of the clearest water
that I have ever seen.

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