Death of Hyacinthos


Death of Hyacinthos


Bottleneck dawn and I am still sharking
down Spencer Street to the ferry
or to see what I can find
Nick the fruit man is opening
stacking sacks of oranges out front
that breach my eyes
like solar flares

but remind me of vitamins
and of health and of Peter
who is just around the corner
and probably awake

I kick at the old bricks
while I wait at his door
He lets me in—kind
and accustomed to ghosts

I am very thirsty and make
for the kitchen though now I’m inside
I realise I haven’t been in before
I drink from the tap like a dog

and offer Peter the oranges
but he can’t stomach them
so I cut them
into careful quarters and let slip
about last night’s tricks

while he sits at the table
Tea! I shout when I think it
after the oranges are in the fridge
next to the medicine and though
his eyes are desireless
he says yes please

We drink the tea and Peter asks me
about art school but I’ve dropped
out and then about that guy
we both used to know Xander?
Xavier? who busted flat
out back of The Swan
that night but I haven’t heard from him

Then Peter is tired—so sorry and tired
I help him to the bedroom
and into bed

Peter says I can let myself out
but I stay and stand next to the bed
His original design is showing through his skin

On his bedside table behind a coffee mug
of water and a box of cheap tissues is a print
of The Death of Hyacinthos
impossible in its frame

and though Apollo who is alive
holds Hyacinthos who is dead
both their eyes are closed

Jarad Bruinstroop

Author: Jarad Bruinstroop

Jarad Bruinstroop is a writer who lives in Brisbane. His work has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Rabbit Poetry Journal, Australian Poetry Anthology, Peril Magazine, Foglifter (US) and at the Queensland Art Gallery and George Paton Gallery. He is undertaking a PhD at QUT. @jbruinstroop