an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Amanda Joshua


Amanda Joshua

Published on
page 36 of Tarot #4
(June 2022)

You saw that search tab I should have deleted
While you’re helping me illegally stream Fantastic Mr Fox
‘fun date ideas when its raining outside’ was meant to be a conversation
between me and safari alone
I wanted you to sit next to me and keep watching
Even if it meant you’d see my most unsure
pitiful parts
So I let you watch me argue on the phone
with my mother, see the stains
on my mattress, let you touch painfully
unwashed clothes and the hair I missed shaving
On my left inner thigh
Stop shielding my breasts with my hands, kiss you
with bare unbrushed teeth
I feel naked, naked horrifyingly
Even more naked
than all those nights we soaked ourselves silly in the tub
And mostly you make me feel good, good horrifyingly
even more good
when you’re laughing in the mornings, playing me recordings of me snoring last night, telling me
with affection if I clutched for you any closer
you’d roll right off the bed
did you admire only the glassy
Polished parts
When the hardest things to offer you were ugly, uncut
and precious
I offered them anyway
I wanted you to sit next to me and keep watching
But you’ve packed your things, leaving my toothbrush
Startlingly alone
in its cup
I slice myself up like day-old birthday cake
hope you’ll take only
the pieces of me you could stomach
in the tupperware

An ode to abandonment issues and pornhub

Amanda Joshua

Published on
page 42 of Tarot #4
(June 2022)

My favourite pornhub category lately
is ‘couple in loving, solid relationship’
Under the sheets
I’m getting myself off to
the idea of stability, a home
of my own, an armchair
Moulded to the shape of this body
I own, also:
a kitchen table, content to be scarred
with marks I put there
I put them there over
the years, placing bowls of too-hot food
In front of people, people
who will never leave

I want to write so I-crop-the-edge-off-my-arm-in-pictures-so-you-won’t-see-i’m-fat honest that
Your hand comes off the page bloodied by my shame
I want to write so small-specific-detail that
You know it was real life
You know I have shared something real
And something alive
I have shared it
With you