After he shattered the longneck
on his foot emerging from the car
the young doctor in the emergency
ward looks pissed off, ‘You’re lucky
mate, you didn’t sever an artery’.
Now stitched up & on his back deck
beer in hand
it strikes him that something is amiss.
Some aching twitch of doubt.
The late summer sun of the escarpment
slowly sinking into his arm.
Between drinks, he sits in the dark
his mind sniffing in straight white lines, unraveling.
The sweet pulse of his long improvised desires
now sprawl wasted,
like the mangled wombat corpse of his thought.
One year ago they carted
him off the train at Springfield,
a quart of Canadian Club
whiskey in his lungs. When he
sprang to life six weeks later
in intensive care he reckoned it was a miracle
he had survived. Yet soon he was back
on the grog on a permanent blinder
& now he lies immobile on the bed
arms outstretched, a long plastic
tube feeding him oxygen.
He confesses to me
gasping for each goddamn breath
pausing every few words,
‘I thought I’d turn to… gawd
on my deathbed…
I’m more convinced
gawd’s a fucken sham.’
Lately, I try to keep this little piece of him alive
his mocking defiance
his refusal to be bluffed
to give in to false hopes
to the shameful bullying of fanatics
I try to keep this little piece of him alive
where the hypocrites can’t reach him
where his ugly, cruel death
can now resurrect, purify him.
BIO: G.D. Anderson lives in North Wollongong, Australia. He has published hundreds of poems since 2002. Some new material can be found at Black-Listed Magazine, Asphodel Madness, The Legendary, The Stray Branch and many other fine magazines. He blogs at: http://georgedanderson.blogspot.com