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Leo
for
Robert Langsford

I've a friend, guess this one's myself,
for effect though, please think he's a mate.
Any ambitions sir?  Yes, to be a top shelf
cruiser, as if the earth might evaporate

tomorrow.  A favourite memory?  Hubbies puffing
homeward from a night-jog, an enjoyable task
done.  He terms the business, not merely for nothing.
Free Entertainment in the Parks;

(though what they may call it never escapes.
A pity.)  One evening on this hi there famous beat,
stage right, two truckies.  Maybe he'll traipse
off with the taller, but... "We've others, like to meet

our mates?"  And I, or my friend or was it his friend,
aaaany way our hero blanches
as two, then another three arrive.  Can't defend
himself. The trees would be as branches

and branches, twigs with these guys.
He can sprint, but if he made it
to his car there mightn't be time to... surprise!
"We only want some fun!" And they did:

fair dinkum fun. just one thing
leading wherever one things head.  Their caution, if slight,
remained, each kept nit by rote, all had their something
to contribute though.  He licked the late spring air, the night,

park and flowers had that much life!
For, with such a mass of willing beaux
to help what, at twenty-three, you want to try try
and try again, seven at one blow

as were, you better believe it!  They had to be camp of course,
one or two maybe not.  For seven "normal" men
with just, you know, the need to horse-
round with themselves, no not often just now 'n' then...

Oh dear!  They tidied and headed to a flat,
he driving a boy who shrugged as if it was over,
it was nothing and, well, never done quite that.  And that
was hard to accept.  Under a full moon's spooky cover

tenants were putting out their bins.
"Come in sport.  Never know when there's a party.
Always keep y'fridge well stocked with tins."
And, talking of work or whatever, till "We like you matey,

but tell us..."  "Mmmm?"  "What's it like being a poofter?"
Our friend squinted, had to shrug (but not like the boy had).
"... please.  We're interested."  Wasn't the time to smash off the roof or
improvise a lecture, or even to be mad

enough risking You mean you don't know?  "Life," he mumbled.
"S'pose it's that.  What's anything?"
And, as if it answered more than enough the boy stumbled
up to turn the tele on.  They continued drinking

till the taller guy, who'd convened proceedings
somewhat finished them.  "We like you mate... serious."
Like?  You've loved me as you've never liked.  Any pleadings
otherwise are shit.  Seven blokes delirious

with their game drank on.  "I'm meeting a friend..." "Yeh?  Catch yer."
With those two hour's bemusing fol-de-rol
never forgotten, he drove off.  Music to Midnight had Satchmo
playing and singing one of his best: Body and Soul.

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