an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

All Editions

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

Chartreuse and Viridian

In the amber, rain-dappled cube of traffic lights
you tell me what tattoos you want. You tell me

your favourite colour. You say chartreuse and viridian
should be the other way around, and I agree.

I enjoy seeing you in a crowd of people I don’t know.
It’s like going to an alien planet

and amidst the extra-terrestrial architectural preferences
of a tripedal species, seeing a mossy parish church.

It’s like translating an ancient Aramaic scroll
and finding the lyrics to the ‘Friends’ theme song,

or deep-sea diving for oysters, prying one-off black rock,
and opening it to the mood ring you lost
when you were ten.

I never know what I’m trying to tell you. Maybe that I wish
I had omnipotence, omniscience, omni-benevolence—

so everyone could know you are favoured,
God-chosen; I would turn rivers to honey, spell it out
with hummingbirds.

You would turn your friend-shaped face
to the bird-filled sky and wonder who this was
that God so loves.