The end of November
Thick cloud hung around the hills
muting them into papery sky.
She left a jar of bright yellow lilies
on the windowsill.
He said maybe we could see each other
next time it rained.
The cloud is heavy and the air feels damp
but the rain isn’t coming.
The earth has dried to a hard clay and the grass
is pale and dusty.
We threw rocks round the fire,
piling them up and shifting the smoke towards the sea.
They stacked stones high up
by the shoreline
and she positioned a stick in the sand
like the placement of lines in her posters.
It created a drawing with the sea.
Our hands got sticky with chip grease
and melted marshmallows and I laughed
with these people that I’d only known a few hours.
The earth bank faded into so many shades of golden
as the sun dipped below the water,
our bodies shadowing its edges.
My hair smelt of smoke as we walked home over the rocks,
little blue penguins scuttling out of the pools of shadows.
One penguin shuffled over her shoe.
The night before, we moved our couches close together
and took turns reading poems to each other,
three candles like jewels on the table.
In the cinema we drank cinnamon water again,
topped up with kawakawa
and his mum gave me a tiny plastic cup
full of red wine.
There are so many people out there that I miss
Each time I see them it reminds me of this.
Briana Jamieson, Death to 2017, December 2017