La Fée Verte
(after a line by Apollinaire)
My glass has shattered like a burst of laughter,
pale green light sprinkling rain.
Seasick flowers bloom through the floor
while across the room
lips of a steamy creature fall
agape, her eyes grinning in my direction,
blonde hair awash.
O fey licorice, paregoric
of my second childhood, ease the pain —
take me to the cloudburst
and the gushing of her name.
I can see my reflection
in the blurred Van Gogh to the left
but that’s not the liquidation I seek.
Not even the sugar and ice I spill down
her cleavage can make up for it.
Take me away! What has been seen
cannot be unseen (the cameras will
babble and froth come morn,
hail or shine), so when I’m asked to leave
I stand up and pass out
into the street — heavy-headed tulips
brushing against my shins.
(published in The Australian, 2012)