In my copy he wrote ‘Arohanui’
and signed it ‘Hemi’. Days now
he’s been in my head, the atua
knowing I want to write about him,
smoking roll-your-owns, wearing
trousers from St Vincent de Paul.
He tells me a world without angels
would be suburban. No, I tell him,
it’s the angels are suburban.
We bicker until he walks away
to the river with that long-haired girl
to do whatever they do there.
When I tell him he’s a hypocrite
‘Look at you,’ he says. ‘Look who’s talking.’