an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #01

Goddess of Eternity

Her hair blows like streamers in the cold night air
streetlight gold setting fire to her unbound curtain of hair
that covers her face like a veil.
She has a champagne heart and cigarette soul
that she doesn’t share, she stands alone.
She smirks across deep red lips
lipstick stains like blood on her teeth.

She will devour any man that steps too close
and spit out their bones in the gutter of the street.
Her fingertips are black with ink
from reaching into the sky and smearing the night around.
She is Goddess of Eternity.

And still, a man approaches from across the street
thinks her mortal
sees her shapely waist not her sharpened teeth
sees her shoulders bare against the wind
not the pitch-black sky spilling from her eyes.
He says, “Are you alright?
Do you need a ride? It isn’t safe out here at night.”
He’s right.

Five a.m. when dark gives way to morning light
a woman finds the body
glittering faintly with starlight.
There’s blood on his lips.
Fingernail scratches along the chest
heart ripped from between the ribs
and taken as a keepsake
a reminder that it is dangerous out here
at night.