the conversation was over

I had feelings about things

the stuff that happens

as we all grow up

& she told me I was

an angry young man

the conversation was over

& when I talked about my body

the things I had going on

had been done

I was told I didn’t understand

they had done their best for me

the conversation was over

I tried to express myself

in paints then sculpture

here in words on a line

& got told

nobody wants to see this

feel this hear these ideas

the conversation was over

& then they told me

the problem with you men

is you don’t talk

about your feelings

& then I really knew

the conversation was over

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smell is heat

whats that smell?

I drive off the ferry & it hits

& I wonder for about six seconds

that smell is heat

more precisely heat on tarmac

dry drains thirsty trees & plants

sun smacking down on pavement

& it takes a few seconds more to realise

I am happy

finally some sun & warmth

on this too long a’wintered body

this feels like home

finally

no shame

my inlaws have this place

white painted villa

with the kidney pool

halfway up the volcano

one of the islands

& I was invited for a week

putting some sun

on this white flabby body

sipping Osborne’s 103

trying to get the next line down

wandering the hot tiles

in a purple sarong huaraches

humming to the horizon

& the comments got stronger

about the state of this body

skimming the shimmering baldosas

in such a state of undress

then apparently to make it stronger

the neighbours were making comments

about the crazy gringo talking to the air

I said to tell ‘em

just a poet at work

& at that

they nodded sagely

es loco no?

for then

there was no more need

for shame

maybe 12 or 13

& for the first time

my body would not do

what I wanted

I had to try harder harder

the days of ease had gone

& now later

I remember those moments

with laughter

as my body now

will not do things I want it to either

& no extra exertion exercise

will make it so

the aches of age

once broken bones

hinting at arthritis to come

when winter twinges them

that strange sexuality

buzzing 24 hours more

a day

wanting wanting if never

quite sure what was needed

that too has eased to dull throb

no longer causing distress

to those around me

I was in such a rush

to get to maturity

& here it is the prize