I went walking in the desert
for forty days after
we broke up;
forty days of talking
of being tempted
by the devil
by my depression;
trying to remember why
I did any of this in the first place.

I leapt from buildings
to restore my faith
in you or me or
anything, really.
I came up empty,
so I went home again.
Nothing had changed.

The coffee shops
still stank of hypocrisy,
the temples still bartered fear,
and writers I had spent
long mornings with
laying with
loving with
writing with
still spoke of change,
but wouldn’t work for it,
and I was still frustrated by them.

I went home again,
a walking disaster
still devoted
to the authors
I’d grown up on –
Mill, Marx and the Clash.

My mother was still there,
working two jobs for
a way of life
I wasn’t sure
had ever existed.

My father was still sick,
his heart still unable
to serve like
an old soldier
would want –
conquered by the one thing
he couldn’t fight with hate.

I went to the mouth of the river,
a place not named Golgotha,
but where our government
skull-fucked the
I would want
to give to my children
were I to ever have them –
but perhaps part of the future
I would pass on to
my poets.

There was a light in the river,
an algae grown until
it was something
more –
something special.

It glowed in the night,
a beacon to remind me;
to remind us that
there was still –

Hope here;
hope in the city,
hope for you and me
and our friends and
for poetry.

I waded out of the river,
baptised and redeemed;
at least
I knew who I was

Once more.

Featured image taken by Eleni Battalis at the WA Youth Slam Launch.

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