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

The waiting line

In our line at the bank we are flat, silent
yellow feet
prayer beads
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.