Lines on a friend’s dipsomania

Felicity, goodnight; leave the fast whirl, pleading weak
or want, but random, dull and stonkered
though you were and as if to protest

once more “I’m no souse” as you slugged back
doubles of gin sans tonic for hours – you moved,
all proud whimsical resolve like a pantomime parade

toward the night, blanched to your plastic lolly sandals
by the moon’s blue damask in the city
clouds. Homeward you’re counting the footfalls

of your erratic passage drunk and humming
nonsensical, since you’re almost
gone, still young though shuffling poorly up

Liverpool St to your flat in the ‘The Hopes’,
having haggled and hocked your rings
for what was only passion

pop. Slower and slower, one night
you’ll stop and be gone more completely,
though it’s already two years since, hit

by the car on Darlinghurst Rd and in your body’s
supernatural nine metre airflight, you decided
to live but forget how; two years since anaesthesia’s

tonic aquamarine daydream, since surgery
left you believing the less felt, the less
thought, the safer and better you would be

healed and held in a bell-jar cracked
from apex to inception – you have grown
to love in the dark of a cupboard

your fissure, as once you loved


First published in Heat #8.


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