In our line at the bank we are flat, silent
at hopeful 1 metre intervals.
There’s a woman
preparing for combat
catches my eye then away with that
10 metre glaze.
Her eyeliner black flicks
uneven ticks on a pro forma
and she whispers ‘aid’ like she’s calling for water.
Dehydrated triage nurse
leads her to a corner
draws the curtains and plugs her in.
I imagine her lying prone like a burn victim
financial hardship raising suspicious lumps in her liver
heart a bag of worms.
They’ll eye her as they tap tap on ergonomic keyboards.
Inspect possible sources of salvation and
finding she still has KiwiSaver
signal for gastric suction.
There’s a back door for people like her
finding themselves more invisible by the day
pale hands clutching at diaphanous skin.