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Red Light Diptych

Highly Commended in the Auckland University Press and Divine Muses emerging poets competition NEW VOICES, 2013

There was a big moon, hung

out early above a green

line of trees, in a purple

sky, and the houses kept their yellow

secrets framed in small



You smoked a black

cigarette and swallowed

your melancholy like it tasted

sweet and I set out glasses

on the old table

with the same wobble

that grinded your

teeth and my



We set out chairs and

tried to find some

order in

our things and our thoughts

while the blue

air squeezed a little tighter

on our chests.


The big moon showed up

early and our coloured lights

framed the windows like


and you felt it too, like this was it,

this was all there ever would be

those apocalyptic subtones

that always precede

a party.

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