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

what i’ve done since you died

wept, not beautifully, wept with my knees up
with my chest heaving, with my tears blotting
the wooden floors in my bedroom, noticed
my ceiling for the first time, the way it rises
and falls, like a breath, i have forgotten how

it felt to want to live in the world, without fearing it
but not the way you said my name
almost childlike. so sweetly
i have texted your dad and thought about
running the car into the concrete wall
by the mcdonalds parking lot

thought about how to live a life without you
about how the death of a stranger is like losing
you again, in a different font
forgotten to take my meds / started taking them again
thrown up in the toilet, stopped kissing people
texted your dad, again

changed the dedication of my poetry book to your name
called in sick to work, the flu, a stomach bug
a dead best friend- is there a prescription for that?
no. googled the french phrase tu me manques
wondered where i first heard it

taken pills for sleep and pills for nausea and
pills to stop my heart beating so fast,
thought about what it means, that i want my heart to slow
and yours to start
punched a wall, punched a pillow, thrown white plates at
white walls
almost picked up the shards to make mosaics
decided that’s the kind of thing i would’ve only done before

hugged your mother and your father and your grandmother
and both of your brothers, and your boyfriend
braided my hair, the way you used to
painted my nails the blue you chose
when we got them done together

wept, when it chipped off
lost the ability to weep, lost the ability to text back
wished i believed in god
wrote you letters, with questions
knowing you can’t write back
wondered if when the doctor sees my wrists
she reads the old news reports across them
and worries more than she usually would
wondered if the nurse drawing my blood has
ever lost her best friend

texted your dad, again
almost called the crisis line,
wondered when everything
will stop feeling like a crisis
bought pet rats

gone through a break up
asked my mother to stop messaging me so often
wrote your name in sticks at the pond
wrote poetry without the energy to wonder if it was good
tried to claw out of this universe like a

forgive me, i couldn’t think of metaphors
so i googled that phrase
someone on reddit says, it feels like her baby is
trying to claw out of her cervix
yes, like that, perhaps,
with my knees up, and my cheeks stained
thinking, this is not the right version of this story
this is not the right version of this story

wondered if whether you enter a new world
the light is always too bright, wondered if it always
feels like the apocalypse starts, right after that
wondered if dying feels like the lights going out,
opened my phone and scrolled to your name, before remembering

everything is a reminder, and still yet,
here i am forgetting, everything is a memory,
and yet i have amnesia
tu me manques means you are missing from me
i’m a poet and i’ve tried
but it comes down to those three words
and, i suppose, no one is better at the french
then writing about love.