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

Haunted House

At night, the home turns to dark matter:
constellations spin at dusty windows; stray
cats prowl a lightless street; veiled vehicles
steal by. Belonging here is seized
from TV flickers, the home electric
with absent light, the world-views of
politicians, people-traffickers, wall-builders,
warmongers and fake-news profiteers, ghosts
in the haunted house of the news.
The swell high in the estuary close by,
the home imagines itself, like the migrant,
rowing in ocean air beneath moonlight.
There is upset. There is unsettlement.
Freighted with loss, a sleepwalker disturbs
corridors; their breath troubles empty rooms.
The home soothes this wild spirit with warm tea,
guides it to resting, then sings it to sleep.
Soon thoughts become dead bodies
washed up on starless shores, craft capsized
in deep waters, babies born to detention centres.
The home peels away the roof of this
strange reality, as if it’s a scar, as if it bleeds.
At the heart of the matter is such music
as beats in the body unseen, and here the home
calls out sanctuary to all who are displaced, all ghosts
turned away, in dark matter, from entry elsewhere.
Come to me, it cries.
Come be bodies safe as homes
no politician, people-trafficker, wall-builder,
warmonger or fake-news profiteer can haunt.