No mad scatter of berets
flung around like frisbees
No beatnik finger clicking
in quasi groove time
No pretence of a saxophone slide
with your smooth diphthongs
No midnight spoken word howling
to a nonchalant fat moon
No singing a love letter
to trees sentinel like a field of crosses
We don’t want to hear words
as unhitched as train carriages
falling from your wine-bruised lips
and a heart as transparent as rice paper.

Drawing of a pipe with paper and birds flying above.

Illustration by Rosie Handley

Thuy On is an arts journalist, editor, critic and poet. Currently Reviews Editor of ArtsHub, her debut poetry collection, Turbulence, was published in 2020 by UWAP who published her second collection, Decadence, in July.

This poem appears in Openbook winter 2022.