Friendship (Gemma White)

Verity La Heightened Talk

At Meredith we stayed up all night
listening to doof doof cyberpunk music
and I saw you cry for the first time,
at four in the morning
bottle of ice tea and vodka in hand
I saw your real face and something changed.
Back in Melbourne some strange anxiety
compelled me to walk to your house
returning your books Equus, and
Diary of a Schizophrenic Girl,
and a men’s jacket I once borrowed
to walk home in. You said:
‘You can stay here tonight.’
Offered me Lipton and McCain’s fish fingers
and lying on separate single beds,
we shared sleep noises in the night.
In the morning, you said:
‘I have a lion mask for you,’
fetching it out of the cupboard
placing it on the back of my head:
‘Mine is the pig mask, yours is the lion mask.’
As if now some animal pact is made.