Writing in Whangarei

Moon Landing. 1969.

by Arthur Fairley

The hillside crawled with fire
the fragrance of the manuka laid down in fumes.
Autumn was burning.
One half of the moon was yellow, one third orange
and the rest scorched black. It was the only time
any of us had seen a moon crash land, sizzle on
the ground, the only time we knew certainty
you look up, your mouth a tube, an astonished O.
A foreigner entered my body as though seeing
for the first time, as though knowing about all our delicate delusion
we thought a name change might make a difference
it’s hard to know what to leave out
I don’t want to say too much in case the words are in the way.
And now
spring grows, clambers over everything
sustained
by charcoal rain and a high-heeled sun,
each day a spoonful
a recovered taste
it takes forever to live the rest of my life.

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