1995

The square was crowded with the
coffee shop gait of foreigners
leaning away from their ordinary.
 
Me too. Awkward on the shoulder
of a world class coxswain turned
irritable technician who
 
wanted to return to the luxury coach
with or without me. We were.
Young, tasting the flavours of this city
 
between training sessions, basking in
UV strip lighting before the shadow of
my escalating paranoia snuffed it out.
 
Breathe. He said, grinding his teeth
as he hoisted me into a seat
then moved further down the aisle.
 
The month after, I befriended the dawn
we flirted for almost six months
sharing brown bottles of all kinds.
 
Twenty years on
 
I still hear birdsong
between my ears
 
at night
 
sometimes.

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