Jennifer Compton was born in New Zealand in 1949 but has lived and
worked in Australia for many years. However she is now writer in residence
at the Randell Cottage in Wellington, New Zealand. Her next book of
poetry Barefoot is due out soon and she is working on a novel
called All The Time In The World.
© 2008 Jennifer Compton
You didn't know where Moscow is or who Mozart was.
I touched you and asked you to dance but your face collapsed.
As you slammed the pupils of your eyes shut you unleashed
a powerful one-note perfume, like a carapace, like a cicatrice.
I loved you. I remember you by moonlight, inaccurately,
with the white hair-slide of false hope curving like your shy smile.
I remember you by moonlight, accurately, suddenly barefoot,
suddenly adroit, as the white horse lay and groaned in his sleep.
The moon swayed, the pine trees,
on your boundary, like a premonition,
switched perspective, becoming foreground
with smooth, elusive panache. Trees can do that.
I'll take my teeth out and put them in a glass beside
So I can't bite. This is my last and best gift. Such sentiment!