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

Shame

Shame is found in church,
where women go monster hunting
with glances.

Shame is found in hope;
in needing people and undressing
in front of them.

Shame is found in kindness
offered in the shape of apple pies
to a lover

who then offers jokes
to his friends—jokes
shaped like me.

Shame is in the throat
that can’t swallow jokes;
I always choke.

I cough up seeds that give birth
to mountains, to forests, to small shrines
of little shames.

Shame is the fingerprints and scars
I left on my own arms; the way I used my skin
as a pillow to scream into.

Shame is the time lost
when, instead of shaming myself,
I could’ve gone hunting for monster hunters.