the conference

With surprising prescience
the organising committee
included a single condom
in the delegate pack,

anticipating that a startling, incisive remark
made after the inspiration of the opening address
might lead to a (later unfounded)
presumption of wit and insight,

setting in motion a gin and tonic buzz
fuelling the first day autopsy
in the ersatz glamour of the hotel lobby bar.
Oblique references to those left at home

gilded in the merry whining of
instant colleagues and soon to be
lovers.
Hung over in the pre-dawn,

clothing rearranged,
chagrin looming with the stale breath
of morning and needless familiarity, both agree:
they will not need another.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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