Glen Hunting

Each of us was only a roll of the dice
by the time we met, but no-one else
would give us any odds by then.
We played out the Terminal’s trauma,
but yours was so self-contained it
gradually calmed my ugly effusions.
You never meant for me to regret,
but I still suspect the only
comfort I gave you back was
twirling you to silent music
in the hospital carpark one night,
after you were the one to remind
me that such things could be.
We waited for dawn, for the
riveting rays we thought might
vaporise us with their caress.  
Later that month I was told you’d
been readmitted—they showed me
your gentleness not in your smile
or touch, but entombed in your flesh.
We might have made a suicide pact
if our shared precarity hadn’t
made us forget that only one of us
might survive, though suffering
often engenders a bond
that later relief can wither away.
But I may still never live to deny
my idea that your grace should
be walking amongst us, bathed
in any sunset you chose, even as
lifelong embraces are broken apart
each day, and I hardly knew you.

Glen Hunting is a poet, dramatist, and short story writer from Perth, Western Australia (Whadjuk Noongar boodjar), now living in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), on Arrernte country. His writings have appeared in Portside Review, Recoil Twelve, Creatrix, Burrow, Dotdotdash, and elsewhere. When not writing, he works for a service provider on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.



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