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


after the te papa gallipoli exhibit
my weak teeth crack
on an iron-hard biscuit
of pain about the ANZACs.

snap-toothed, the exposed root
throbs dully
and i swallow
the broken chip
along with desiccated coconut.

i begin to choke
on blond crumbs
spluttering, mouth coated in a butter film
tasting like rancid patriotism.

the lump in my throat
feels like the knowledge:
we didn’t need to be there.

bravery, sacrifice, etc.
but for what?
we were invading them
and it was a rugged bloodbath in hot dirt.

finally peristalsis moves the bolus
of tooth and biscuit further down my digestive tract
where it falls like a heavy bullet
into the pit of my stomach.

i don’t know if the acid down there
is strong enough to digest it.