an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #07
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Tarot #05
Tarot #04
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Tarot #02
Tarot #01

Past and future tense

‘No event can cease to be, or begin to be, itself, since it never ceases to have a place as itself… ‘
                                                                                      — JME McTaggart, British philosopher (1866–1925)

I see you look at the husk of me, and would have
Liked to let you know it’s not what it appears,
And I don’t want your pity. The weighing scales
Of body and soul are tipping now, working in
Inverse proportion. I gather up my days, feel the
Lip of time curl back on itself, washing away
My daily wearies, landing me on the shore of
Another place between a past that hasn’t happened
Yet, and a future I know already. It’s a coming home
Of sorts: every thought and feeling I’ve ever had, or
Might have had, or wished I hadn’t—a nether world
Of possibilities, and future memories held in storage.

I could have done it better, sure, but—see? I put
Regret where it belongs, along with blame and
Grief and shame. I daisy-chain my smiles and
Tears, note the particular quality of the sky
At dusk, and admit again my shadow selves
I buried long ago with those I loved. Enough
Of such talk; it would mean as much to you
As Morse code would to me. Yet I see you
Discussing me, for I’ve become less a person
Than a predicament. Your words snowflake
The air; I sense the drift of your intent, and
Feel the white spaces of your pauses. I know
You know my circle’s near-complete, but how
To intimate I’m far richer now than when
My soul was spread as thin as Marmite
In the heady rush of a full-blooded life?