Tuesday, June 22, 2004

First contact

in memory of Rodney Kirk Smith (1937-1996),
for so many years / the invisible shoulder

Begin with what could so easily
have been the end. You, me & the
architect, asleep in the belly
of your old Citroën, parked
in the middle of the main road
an hour or so south of Auckland.
Having decided, as the party
was unraveling, to take to the highway,
to carry on the lifelong conversation
even though we had only met
quarter of an hour before. You drove,
were the last to go to sleep, stopping
where & when you finally felt
like it. Fortunate that the where
was too far north for the
coal & timber trucks that ran all night
& the when was everywhere else
mid-sixties New Zealand at
4.30 in the morning. To wake to a
landscape of cows & high voltage
power lines, observe it for the time
it took to smoke a cigarette, then
turn around & head back to the city
tacitly acknowledging the impulse of the act
but never questioning it. It was to be
the perennial pattern of our dance.

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