begin this way.

you sit there in a disheveled room,
in your home that was once the core of the sun.
there is a draught seeping in through the windows,
and you are chilled to the bone from failure.

fragments of your life is floating in your eyes
the yellow wall is blending into the white sheets
into the wooden side-tables into you
so you stop and chew everything into bite-sized pieces.

you begin this way, then:
this is your hand,
this is the silver ring your mother gave you in Sydney when you were 16,
and you’ve worn it everyday since.

this is a red painting
you bought on a drunken whim with your best friend
at an art fair from an artist who was flirting with the both of you.

this is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever you like.
this is the precipice of your next life.
this is the look of uncertainty.

outside the window
is grey concrete. before that, it was a wooden fence
that was low enough to let summer in.
and beyond that the trees and then the world,
which is round and once had rules and plans and structure
and you get to Point B from Point A
using colours you’re familiar with.

this is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to decipher than I have said.

you are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns. is vibrant,
is alive, is dying at the same time.

you learn the words End, and Hope,
and Heartache and Fear.
you roll each of them around on your tongue and
gag and spit and swallow.

once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can actually re-learn.

the word Hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
the phrase You and I
does a somersault in your mouth

it begins, and it has infinitely many ends.
you and i are ending but separately we are also beginning
and your heartache and my heartache i can now see
like my hand pressed hard against your heart

we look at each other in silence
like two friends who went through war, and
after all the tears there is a tiny upturn of the mouth
because we know we will survive.

this is the world,
which is round and has more colors
than we can see.

this is your hand
a warm stone
i hold between two words.

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