an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #01

Dr. David Bowie

while my grandmother was dying
i ran a tumblr blog dedicated to David Bowie,
posted GIFs of the sparkling man
and poured over his lyrics and looks
with a gaggle of international teenagers.

grandma took her time, in ICU,
being subjected to
every test and tube
from intra-aortic balloon pump to colonoscopy.
they let her go finally,
i think, out of mercy.

while her guppy breath faltered
my parents got drunk
and yelled until my family estranged them,
getting away from toxicity,
and left me.

on tumblr,
dreaming about a man
who could have been granddad,
i sought solace in a cosmic world
of sequins and spandex,
injected my pain into his voice,
clinging to sanity.

so you can imagine how i felt
when a new, ICU doctor
introduced himself to us one day
and his name badge read, honestly,
‘Dr. David Bowie’.