Three by


Andrew Leggett








Forgetting will not be easy

as losing the German language,

with declension of verbs in past imperfect,

as short as memory of the shrinking list

of names that once belonged to lovers;

as short as the skirt of teenage dreams

Debbie Harry wore on my poster wall.

I am losing the roses I stole,

from the beds of the medical school,

for my first object of reciprocal love,

but the hardest relinquishment of all

is that of the wish I was kissing

your cheeks the time you wore heels

and denim shorts with that ragged hem.








At Mama’s Trattoria, ordering pasta

with a pork and fennel salicce ragu,

my brain flails its wings, fluffed

like the pinions of a frogmouth chick,

fallen from the nest, before flight

was imagined, frozen on the way down,

stuck when the film reel locked

in the rusty projector that illuminates

the screen in the cinema of phantom pain.

Nothing comes at all, not even the names

of pecorino romano, grana padana

or any other cheese that might

rescue me from tongue-tied shame

before a waitress offering parmesan.








I am the revenant in his old town,

at the foot of the cinema stairs,

watching the art director’s back

as he ascends, two steps each stride.

He may not be the man whose son

I raised for eighteen years towards

his father’s love, the one who pelted

on horseback down the mountain

in The Man From Snowy River.

I don’t run after him and put

my memory to the face’s test.

Instead I turn to view the backs

of another two, a couple standing

in the place I imagine that I knew.









Andrew Leggett is an Australian author and editor of poetry, fiction, interdisciplinary academic papers and songs.  In addition to medical degrees and postgraduate qualifications in psychiatry and psychotherapy, he holds a research Masters degree in creative writing from the University of Queensland and a PhD in creative writing from Griffith University.  He was editor of Australasian Journal Of Psychotherapy from 2006-2011 and prose editor of StylusLit from 2017-2022.  His third collection of poetry, Losing Touch, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2022.



 ē·                                                        <  ē·  >