an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #07
Tarot #06
Tarot #05
Tarot #04
Tarot #03
Tarot #02
Tarot #01

Lambing Season

It is mid-October
and spring drapes itself
seductively along the peninsula.

A flock of youths rear their heads
at the scent of rain
on the horizon, where thunderheads gather
against a sanguine sunset.

I offer to help my ex-girlfriend
with her mascara.
She can’t see the mirror
without her glasses.
Sandflies stagger drunkenly
across the bathroom window, ripe
with our blood.
The onshore wind
is a stroppy mare tossing her head
and rattling the panes.

Stormclouds blot purple
like a makeup wipe, like teeth marks
on someone’s throat.
We roam the hillside of Port Levy
pretending to be pirates.
Our footfalls sink
into the grass the way the ship’s cat
might knead my belly.

We stumble upon a body
cooling in the lee of a cliff; a ewe
lost to the equinox.
As the sun drips red
on her flanks, we lament
that she could not have a sea burial.
The rock face radiates
a memory of heat.

Shadows creep shyly down the bluffs,
dipping the slopes in shade
but the warm front persists, hot and humid
like the crook of an elbow.
The storm is itching to sink its teeth
into fresh spring soil.

A drumming on the tin roof quenches
crickets’ hoarse chirping.
Weatherboards begin to groan and protest
around a nest of teenagers
who sleep with plundered rum
and pineapple juice
settled warm in their stomachs.

Sporadic gusts tease snatches of wool
from the gorse bushes.
Rain spills in rivulets
down the ewe’s death mask.
The water runs clear.