an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Molly Crighton

Christmas is the Season of Love!

Molly Crighton

Published on
page 10 of Tarot #3
(Dec 2021)

So your heart’s been properly broken for the first time
and now you feel bad for making fun of heartbroken people
as they keened and rolled in bed like strange animals

because you are doing exactly that, and feeling
not better at all.

You go to a two-dollar shop called Gifts and Things that sells
gifts and things
and you stand in front of the fabric flowers and cry
and cry and cry and cry
and drag yourself all over the shop like a big wet
heartbroken slug.

You find a pair of four-dollar reindeer antlers
because it’s Christmas, and it’s the season of love
and you want to wear them like a dunce hat,
like a visual representation that you are a
Stupid Idiot With Inappropriate Feelings.

When you get home you do everything you can
to distract yourself, and while you’re doing a handstand
in your wardrobe, you find a slip of paper on which you had written
light exists only to illuminate her face. And now

you’re crying the wrong way up your own face,
and tears are running into your hairline.

She’s been a constant in your head for so long
that you keep hearing her voice,
feeling the dip of a chair next to you. To shut her out

is like shutting out a long-term spouse,
like getting a divorce from your own head and leaving your body
to blunder around, eyeless and sad.

Hurt bobs inside you like a deep aquatic minefield.
It pricks at you like sandpaper on a silk conveyor belt,
round and round, endlessly.

Christmas is the season of love, and you are still in love,
but you also want to take an indulgent bubble bath
with a toaster. Which you won’t do,

but you do take a bath
and slide deep under the skin of the water,
letting your hair brush around your neck
like a clouded hand.