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

Taxidermy Falklands Island Wolf in the Animal Attic

Charles Darwin stepped off the HMS Beagle
and said you will soon go extinct, little wolf.

You are too trusting
and you have not learned how to be afraid.

And you skink-plaited between his legs
and ate from his evolutionist hands—

licked at his scientist fingers.
Learn from ours, said Darwin. Our wolves

bristle like a thousand thousand razors
            in the shape of a predator.

They know what to fear. Here
you eat from the one hand while the other

holds a knife.
All the better to kill you with.

Now glass where there should be eyes.
Teeth with no bite. I want you
            to come back to life

because I am alone too, and have also learned
how to be afraid. I would never kill you.

Come and sit on my lap, your warmth
rising taxidermy dust around us

like a cloud made of skin.
Come and eat from my hand.