an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Jenny Craig Weight Loss Poster by Countdown Central

Sally, smiling with her subcutaneous-white teeth,
            looks very thin now.
She wears a red viscose top from Farmers
            and bares SmileDirect teeth
like in a desert full of yellow bones
Sally is a spine bleached by the sun.

Beautiful Sally.
I heard we evolved from apes to homosapiens
because we started taking magic mushrooms
            and found God.

My brain, your brain, Sally’s brain,
all grey wet walnuts driving our meat machines
as we shrink and grow and shrink and grow
            and waste our time counting almonds
            and halving stock cubes and slicing cucumbers
            and pretending they taste like chips.

Just eat some chips, Sally.
You and your magic brain and desert teeth—
hair a golden helmet, plate held like a god’s attribute,
            like hungry Minerva

like an ancient statue slowly shrinking as the desert winds
of seashells and low-cal rice cakes
            blow all about you.
Sally—the lone and level sands
stretch far away. Across the distance you watch me
like the Mona Lisa, like a predator or a carnivore—

like something hungry.