The Late Show – Oz Hardwick

The Late Show

After midnight, stars have faces, silver
in smoke, soft-focused, indelible. We watch
the street, the shadows, the heavy, hooded eyes,
lamplit across gin-joint tables, taunting
the man with the dangling cigarette, his fingers drumming
to the rhythm of a femme fatale’s black nylon
legs whispering suggestions. There’s a drive-by at the drive-in:
Chicago pianos rattling skeleton songs,
bullet holes in swaying scenery, a blizzard
of sugar glass catching in lacquered hair,
tears welling their farewells, my lovely. But
after midnight, even the dead remain young,
their Hays Code faces fluttering, starlit,
lips pursed, winking at popcorn kisses.


Oz Hardwick is a poet, photographer and sometime musician, whose seventh
poetry collections, Learning to Have Lost, was published in 2018 by the
International Poetry Studies Institute, Canberra. Oz leads the Creative Writing
programmes at Leeds Trinity University.

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