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July 30, 2010

by Stuart Barnes

You want to know
why I culled you
like a cane toad,
a rabbit
or a kangaroo?

You were so reckless
with your red soldiers,
so couldn’t care less
your ‘three
little letters’ could possibly infect me.

Of all people, you, you, you
— the recovering junkie —
were so quick to pass judgment;
my drinking

The nine-inch nail in the coffin:
you dismissed
my unconditional love
with a Judas kiss
(I would’ve accepted libation or fate).

I never tend your watery grave.

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In 2009, Stuart Barnes’ unpublished memoir A Cold Decade was shortlisted for the Australian Olvar Wood Fellowship Award, and his poem ‘Solomon’ was shortlisted for Australia’s most prestigious poetry prize, the Newcastle. He lives and writes in Melbourne.

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