Thursday 6 September 2018

Smoking a ciggy

Smoking a ciggy
atop a Saint Petersburg roof in summer,
tonight’s best friends are beside me
—our rucksacks sharing a room a few streets down.

Cathedrals stretch towards a sunset
that just can’t get itself to pierce the day.

But just now,
at this very moment,
my chest begins to ache.

This is old news
—the doctor back in Adelaide said it’s nothing;
said it’s just a chronic strain and not a sick heart.

But sometimes the gut
knows more than the doc.
I know, too, that my grandmother’s sick heart
took her before she had the chance to feel
my own beat.

Yet whether or not I’m really dying sooner than I’d like
or the body’s simply reminding me
that either way I’m dying
one day,
it’s not a heartbreaking kind of prompt.

More than anything
it’s just a reminder to live
whilst alive

as I chance these ciggies                 
atop a Petersburg roof
with tonight’s best friends beside me.

Don't talk

Don't talk of gender
or of sex.
Don't talk of science
at all events.

Don't talk of him.
Don't talk of me.
Don't stand for

Don't talk ideas.
Don't ask for proof.
Don't be so brash
to ask for truth.

Don't talk of drugs
or family.
Just bark the word

Don't talk free speech
or liberty.
Just bark the word

Don't talk about
South Africa.
You shut your mouth!
Don't act bizarre.

Don't talk about
the media
or Marxist

Don't think it through.
Don't be that chump.
Just sing along
to "I hate Trump!"

Just do what you're
supposed to do.
You know the drill.
There is no you.

There is no God.
There was no Fall.
In fact, you'd best
not talk at all.