SUPERMARKETS ALWAYS MAKE ME CRY

The emblem of the South Island Spring
is the Kōwhai, loud with birds,
dangling brazen chimes in golden chains
and full-throated glissandos.

Spring is on strike,
Winter is procrastinating.
The carpark at Eastgate Mall has the most remarkable
view of the Port Hills.
                                    When the clouds close in
as if the Patupaiarehe have emerged from their shadow realm
dragging the daub and wattle of fog with them
the battered ramparts of Castle Hill disappear
and the TV tower on Sugarloaf
is just a crimson pulse bleeding through the murky mirk.

When we first met you were new to town
and after coffee we walked about some, and then you wanted
to go to the supermarket,
the whole time I was secretly lusting, ashamed of the joy
of our hands accidentally making contact.
                                                                    Our guardian angels
must have looked askance at each other as their wings brushed
as they fled separate catastrophes in opposite directions.
Thereafter often when we’d go
to some out-of-the-way eatery or some event for my sake
we often ended up at supermarkets.
                                                           That fortnight you stayed
and we platonically shared a bed, we bought groceries together.
What peaches and what penumbras!
I guard those memories jealously
like a rare spirit of aetherial salt so precious and volatile it must
be kept hermetically and contained in quicksilver
only to be viewed by winter moonlight.

That’s why supermarkets always make me cry.

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