Marc Vincenz
Marc Vincenz
Citizen Julius Wang
      Fiji, 1999

Here he comes up the garden path
waving with his left,  his right
tucked deep in his pocket
just because it has none.
As long as I’ve known him,
it stays there, planted firm;
his posture reminds me of a pot of tea,
or an elephant
staring out at sea.

He jokes it ended up in someone’s sausage,
possibly fried with onions,
but I do believe he’s not kidding.
He has a tendency
for the absurdity of things;
he ruffles my hair,
and like always he smells
of melons, cantaloupe perhaps?
Strangely, not like the roses he prunes.
No uneven feat since he used to be a butcher,
      cleaving, slicing, butterflying,
                      tenderizing Australian imports.

He says all the blood
in his one good hand
has long been washed away,
so now he gives tomatoes life,
                      cucumbers, delicate ivies
and exotic buds trawled from the Amazon,
serpentine, down the longest river on the planet,
to a little island in the South Pacific
just like Matisse.
To me he seems older than the sea,
but then, I never could swim.
One-handed, he paddles, wades;
besides, he needs his good one to paint sea-breezes
when he isn’t battling aphids
      or having words with the Prime Minister
on constitution or coup.
And suddenly
all the voice leaves his lungs,
all the word leaves his face,
but he still smiles as if he truly meant it,
especially when the sun shines
and sometimes too, when it rains.

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