an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Jackson McCarthy

This Summer a Radical Sense of Impermanence

Jackson McCarthy

Published on
page 26 of Tarot #4
(June 2022)

But before you can sleep, the last of the adrenaline
turns the night into a woozy picture show.

Glowworms. Your new jeans. If you are in love,
go down to the sea. You think Remember this

and Remember that. There’s a chance
you are staring at the centre of things.

There’s a chance you are not. In the sky,
a smudge of cloud. What a ferry leaves in its wake.

In the sky, shifting like sheets, rain comes.
You run to catch your bus. Breaking in

your new shoes. So many bags, overstuffed.
During the school year, you had used this one

to carry your books. Boys and girls fling themselves
around in the wet. You look at them and think

Maybe I might stop writing. Early morning
and late afternoon. The sun’s outer extremities.

Even the lights seem lazy. You stay on the bus
the longest. Watch people get on and off.

This makes you feel like you own it. You keep turning pages
and thinking you’ve turned two instead of one.

You haven’t. There is no secret. No
in-between page. The paper is just thick.

Months pass. You lie on your front
and turn your palms toward the sun.

You’re holding it up. Holding it still.