20

more or less

I don’t have

the childhood I’ve lived

I have

1,900 school bus

tickets in a battered

cheap bowler hat.

I don’t have

those lovers I’ve touched

I have

a winenight list of

12 names on the torn half

of a franked buff envelope.

I don’t have

the beauty I blazed

I have

4,000 silent shiny

stills of fabricated

moments curling

up in cupboards.

I don’t have

the knowledge I’ve crammed

I have

8 metres of bookshelf

hung with melding clouds

of moods and seeping plots.

I don’t have

the parents who formed me

I have

a clutch of small

people who may, one

day, tell me.

Jenni Brooks

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