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Revolving days by David Malouf

That year I had nowhere to go, I fell in love — a mistake
of course, but it lasted and has lasted.
The old tug at the heart, the grace unasked for, urgencies
that boom under the pocket of a shirt. What I remember
is the colour of the shirts. I’d bought them
as an experiment in ways of seeing myself, hoping to catch
in a window as I passed what I was to be
in my new life as lover: one mint green, one
pink, the third, called Ivy League, tan
with darker stripes, my first button-down collar.

We never write. But sometimes, knotting my tie
at a mirror, one of those selves I had expected
steps into the room. In the next room you
are waiting (we have not yet taken back
the life we promised to pour into each other’s mouths
forever and for ever) while I choose between
changes to surprise you.

Revolving days. My heart
in my mouth again, I’m writing this for you, wherever
you are, whoever is staring into your blue eyes. It is me,
I’m still here. No, don’t worry, I won’t appear out of
that old time to discomfort you. And no, at this
distance, I’m not holding my breath for a reply.

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