REM in the middle of a storm during the winter

The world’s coming out of its trance
in the small hours before day breaks
and my lover reaches up and plucks
the retreating moon from the sky
like a closed fist,
a pale knuckle clenched amongst the stars.
Now, it’s being passed between us:
to the other
and back again.

Around him is stillness;
inside him, fusion and fission
and other states of kinetic flux.
I skate my fingers across his stomach and
it ripples like twilight beneath deep water.
He holds a mirror up to my face
and from somewhere far below, asks:
“Do you see it, now?”

Rain falls,
covering the world in little black diamonds
as I reach across and pluck two dying stars from his mouth
watching them spin in my palm
like two balls of mercury,
blood-black in their shared void.
They ripple like twilight beneath deep water
and I am left to be swallowed whole.

My lover and I bury our inheritance like Nazi gold
on the banks of a forgotten river.
The willow and yew tree leaves
stick to the mud and to our knees.

The river freezes.
And then thaws.
Ice calls out to ice
and our pessimists’ ransom is swept away
by a sudden change of tide.

Tangled down there, somewhere among the weeds,
the ingots are rippling like twilight beneath deep water,
and he holds a mirror up to the face of the sky and asks:
“Do you see it, now?”


I want the memories of me
to haunt you
like a regrettable Halloween costume.

I want to cut out eyeholes
from your bed sheet
and stand staring,
silently whispering:
this sheet still smells of you -
of you,
          of you,
                      of you.

I want to emancipate you:
This queer lawyer-poet from Hell
conjured into court
waving an application for summary judgement
and a quick orgasm round the back, your honour.

I want you to place the tip of your cock of my tongue -
your flesh a communion tablet -
He died, He is risen, He will cum again.

I want to shackle you to my monogamy
like a failed heterosexual experiment
left unfinished on the slab -

I want the memories of me
to haunt you
in this dinky bed sheet
bursting through the ground with camp flair
like an undead Liberace and
all your ex-boyfriends stumbling back through the treeline
emerging once more from the fog

I want the memories of me
to run deep inside you
to bleach your skeleton pink
to put a filter over your eyes that shows all my future replacements as only bones.

But in reality your memories have already been refurbished
and like Dr. Frankenstein selling his secret lab to a reputable pharmaceutical
I still cannot hold a candle to you it seems.
Not even the dead can tell you what to do.

Ted Greensmith is a 20-something-year-old writer and solicitor based in Tamaki Makaurau. His writing seeks to embrace the dark, the camp and the queer experience. He is currently working on his first collection of poems and his first novel.