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art generated by Midjourney


My antipodean sister, today is your longest day
but here, our shortest. I grow jealous of your sunlight
though you are the moon who shines in daytime.

I need days that last forever, open and unending
while you crave black-walled rooms and curtains
to deny the outside world and murder it.

These are trivialities. Your heart beats like mine.
It knows the rhythm of the seasons we cannot escape.
They enslave us and they liberate us
and we cannot tell the difference.

Beneath your radiant southern cross
you sing and paint with light to create new worlds.
You, my partner in musical treason,
my inversion who lives one day into the future,

we are not so different: two halves of a sine wave.
My troughs are your peaks
though I cannot touch nor hold your hand.

Our amplitudes are one heartbeat:
the same symphony, the inhalation and exhalation.
Water crashes into sand as far as the eye can see.

You made a home for that part of me too wild to settle down.
I could not repay you with all the gold stolen
from a thousand papist galleons.
But this is no transaction.

The family we are born into
is not the family we meet later,
the one who resonates with us and
cares more for who we are than what we were.

This poem appears in the collection Inner Planets: 50 Poems by Matthew Howard. Available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook.