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Home: The Toast



Dickie Greenleaf and Tom sit for hours at the bar,

It’s the one that I think is in Naples,

Tom says he is sorry for the scene on the boat,

Dickie laughs and says, please, these things happen.


url-1A hand peels out from the crack in the rocks,

Miranda returns thin but happy,

Her hair is a mess, she is tanned and she shines,

The school stands around her, all clapping.


Sebastian Flyte on a boat in the sun,

He sings to the man on the jetty,

“You are my rich and kind boyfriend now,

I love you and we should get married.”


Leonard Bast jerks up straight in the chair where he sleeps,

He shakes his head twice, he shivers,

It’s clear to him now: that family’s the worst,

He cannot see what he was thinking.


At the start of all drug films to ever exist,

Where they’re all on the beach and they’re golden,

The whole thing is like this, just for hours and hours,

Overdoses aren’t real, no one dies or gets older.


Frank O Hara_FRANK151Frank O’Hara’s awake in the hospital,

His room full of beeps and white flowers,

A nurse comes in – her vibrations are bad,

She hates gays and fun, and his visitors.


She says “that’s what happens when you’re at Fire Island,

You almost get killed by a buggy,

Imagine how awful, imagine the shame,

I don’t like you, but get real, you are forty.”


The nurse will be taught a hard lesson, of course,

She will learn what it means to be kind,

They fight, her and Frank, but there’s something he likes,

And when he gets home he will call her.


She will come to New York on a visit, and stay,

She’ll discover her cool in a crisis,

She’ll move in with this guy who laughs all the time,

Who’ll turn out to be a famous sound artist.


Frank dies an old man in the house that he built,

The nurse sings a song at his wake,

Her voice is so pure – no one knew before this,

The sound artist is pleased with his choice.

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Rosa Frances Lyster is a writer who lives in Cape Town. She tries her best to stay home all day and write poems about Sun Ra and Ray Smuckles.

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