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

fatherhood

Men hunt and fish you say
lines flying glinting hooks
jerking beneath the skin
finding purchase so the reeling can begin
surface calmly stippled
tugging and frenzy subcutaneous

This is that dance again then the
engorging of manhood eyes wide whites dry
lips thinning
that never-again long-ago child inside
never-again

you
baiting
him with

cruelty—flinging one-liners like a broken recorder
he’s reeling suckerpunched suddenly bloodless
this man-child learning to
drink your stale
never-again
never-again

Remember that fish you landed last summer?
He lay gasping on the rock as you
waited for the air to settle
letting the words sink in
the hook clean through an eye

I watched something drain away
eyes cast over cold

never again