an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

All Editions

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


i am so white, that if i went for an evening jog by the roadside
i wouldn’t have to stripe myself safe with reflective tape
i could just
roll my shirt up a little bit

i’m so white, that when i got a tattoo of a white dragon the
tattooist used my bare skin for the dragon’s scales
his white ink
just for the shading

i’m so white, that if i walk naked to the bathroom at two in the morning
my lover may mistake me for a ghost

i’m so white, that on sunny music festival days
strangers forcibly apply sunscreen to me
because they’re worried
but they need to be
i’m already wearing sunscreen
i’m so white, i have to swear sunscreen
when there’s a full moon

i’m so white, that if i contain my bad hair day under a beautiful scarf
no bus stop stranger will wonder aloud what i’m hiding
or try to snatch it from my head

i’m so white, that if i tell you that i work at a university
you don’t assume i mean as a cleaner and
if i do apply for work somewhere else and don’t even get an interview
i won’t be left wondering if they saw
my name in print
my picture on Facebook and imagined
i’d be lazy or
i’d steal or
i wouldn’t speak English clearly or that
my application wasn’t serious

i’m so white, that in twenty years behind the wheel
i have never once been pulled over or
asked to show my licence and
even in America
on the street
at night
it has never occurred to me that i might not be
one hundred percent safe in front of
an armed police officer

i’m so white, that when the Māori student advisor
told one of my students that if he ever needed anything
he could also come to me because
i am one of us
my student laughed
and i couldn’t blame him