To Basquiat

Poetry / Mindy Gill

I do not miss you in this old blue city
Not in the morning when I lie unslept and untired
Listening for the rain that falls into
The black earth beneath the lime trees
Listening for the steady song of the train
Or the dawn dogs who bark at the white sky without reason.
Even when the birds rhyme your name in my kitchen window
Or when I find in a bookstore say on Main Street
A used book on liver disease or mortality
And later walk to the bar quite far away for a dry martini
And in the park three boys sing quietly
The sun sinks like a ship like my heart when you kissed my lips
And a woman stands alone talking to herself
High and heavenquick
And at golden hour I sit in the grass
Over ice cream and strong coffee
And the moon cataracts into the sky
Beautiful and blind.
I do not miss you when the crowns break,
Easy, in a breath as the body does
Or when the needles turn cruel and cure you.
When all that will end finally ends
—The blood, your hips, cities, the sea—
There is something like freedom. There is waiting
Yes, and ache. There is music.

Mindy Gill’s poems have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, Hecate, Mascara Literary Review, Island Magazine, Award Winning Australian Writing, and elsewhere. She has won the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, and the Queensland Premier’s Young Writers and Publishers Award. She is Peril Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief.