Boys in men’s shirts, the Aliquot Brothers
have come to town. They are
backing us into corners, mopping up
the fragments we leave behind.
They are the perfect combination.
The redhead paints his toes. The honey blond
streaks highlights through his hair.
They go café to café, dividing
to rule, smearing tablecloths
with froth and melted cheese. (The rest of us
confined to quarters, mumbling
over cold porridge and twice-strained tea.)
No use complaining: they’ll leave
when they’re good and ready,
with no remainder, nothing
but the hiss of their departure,
the closing door that splits
this world from its neighbour.
Credit note: “The Aliquot Brothers” was first published in Issue 14 of Interlitq, “A New Zealand Literary Showcase”. This issue has stories and poems by a wide range of New Zealand writers – it is well worth checking out. It will also appear in my forthcoming poetry collection Men Briefly Explained, published by Interactive Press of Brisbane.
Tim says: An aliquot is a number that divides another number evenly and leaves no remainder. That’ll be an NCEA Level 1 numeracy credit, please.
You can read all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog – the featured poem is on the centre of the page, and the week’s other poems are linked from the right-hand column. I’m very pleased to be this week’s Tuesday Poem editor on the main blog.