By CONOR MAXWELL
23 years old
University of Waikato

Like feathered Mercury

Winged stasis mid-air,

Perpetual catch and

Fall.

Snakeskin bibles on

A poisonwood bench

Oaken academe.

You taught yourself to fly-

Rucksack dependence

Shamrock engraved in a sycamore cross

Three nails, the Eucharist

And a father who drinks too much.

You were        too        afraid

Of Hellfire,

Of leaving your family behind,

Of navy torrent, ocean swell,

High-tide and

The sun.

Leather distilled complacent

Sans movement-

Save for a stroll ‘cross ivory shards.

Sea spray epiphany;

Polished heels

Scuff Catholic grit

On still shores

When placed between

(Suspended between) Placed between

Titan Helios’

Sonic ultraviolet and

Typhoon lavender depths,

You sank Neptunean feathered atomic

And you Sir-

Emerged from Under

Alone.

Ruptured brow

Salted volcano then wax-

Then hot wax

Then plummet young comet,

Fireball historic;

Title precedence above his

Inventive father.

Auden admires distant legs,

Paternal sensibilities absent.

Your fatal decision

Was not soaring high enough.

This poem is part of the TEARAWAY Young Poets feature for National Poetry Day.

The Common Room

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