Thoughts in Summer/Winter

Thoughts in Summer/Winter

I’ve borrowed a smirk from Tracy Emin. Older now, the summer flowers don’t melt my heart as they did at 27. If you were here I would do things differently.

But don’t we all say that? He crumples my touch, throws it to the corner next to the bin where a condom hangs like a man lynched

even at 7am in Wollongong the heat is a thief’s hand to the mouth. It is summer here, you’ve gone back to Nanjing.

Work is slow and I spent my last $10 on condoms – priorities. I cool myself with the breath of my lover and wonder

if you’re walking in the snow with her, it is winter there. Xiu Ling told me she was pregnant. You’d make a terrible father.

You’d think my smirk was typical white-girl coarseness. Always with the off-hand comments – white women fuck anyone. White women are rough.

That summer I was desperate for love in a yellow dress, blueberry beads, we held hands and hot chips by the lighthouse, at Christmas I wrapped brie in prosciutto

and made you wear that reindeer nose, we swapped presents, I bought you cologne, you bought me a stuffed toy. I was disappointed. I asked too much of you.

I tried to learn Mandarin but gave up. You tried to teach me but asked me to repeat phrases to your friends without telling me what they meant – I didn’t trust you.

Shen Yun said he overheard you with the boys likening my breasts to tofu, imitating the wobble – that was enough.

I hope she finds out you turned up in a taxi, drunk and tearful the night before your 6am flight. When you forced a kiss on me, called me your best girl.

I hope she sees the immaturity. You pose genteel in a too small tux, she’s a slender vision in your engagement photos.

She looks bright and young. She has the smile of a woman who adheres to expectations but maybe that’s the point.