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New year, same old me.
Same model boat to
pry from the bottle.
Same tools to pry with.

Chopstick or hammer?
(Same dilemma).
Same neighbour, same ‘Geoff!’
That tree loafs still, there,

On power lines, above
Geoff's front porch, above
the Skip bin overfull
with 2018.

My bank and mailbox
take up again their
correspondence, their
whispers about me.

The cat still hasn't
learnt my name. No one
has learnt the language
I name myself in.

Same birthday, same wet
star sign that won't flow;
same sky's ice sinking.
Those crackers I sent up,

I sent them up to
blow something up, right?
The black can't be blown.
Stars own their own

explosions. Stars work
to keep the lights on.
I wished for a New
Year's Eve blackout,

But the countdown came.
The DJ even
played my favourite song.
So much for favourites.

Next year (I'm thinking)
I'll wear a new mask:
one I can't take off,
one I don't recognise.

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About the author:

Ben Kunkler

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Ben Kunkler is a writer, living in Melbourne. His work has been published in Overland, Rabbit and The Age. He was the 2016 winner of the Affirm Press prize.

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