for Chewy and Ella
Short glass, the petrol gleam
of the dark liquid. Expecting still
the black print of his fingers on its rim.
The terrible currency of searching –
his hands collect the downy weight of ash
and heavy emptiness
as others filled
with scattered teeth and jewellery.
Boiled flesh within water tanks.
White helmet. Monkey bars.
The smoke ghosting the rest of his platoon,
their limbs long and black. A silence
eucalypt and lunar.
How a burning piano must sing.
The years of oil on the cold keys
from your fingers’ skin
mellowing the timbre.
The full-throated tenor of the flame,
the crackling wood, the sharpened ping
of each string’s tight, tuned snap.
Exploding eucalypts will echo in your chest
Your orchard eaten into black dust.
I send you irises,
and try to write
some kind of greening.