an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #07
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Tarot #01

Painting with Sable and Fury

Because you cannot stay,
I paint your memory in burnt sienna,
umber, Mediterranean ochre.
Shades of autumn suit you:
I give you gold.

You return with champagne,
hothouse roses. We drink
from one glass, toast each other
in sunlight and moonshine.

You cannot stay.
I drink the last bubbles
from your side of the glass
and paint roses in full bloom,
cardinal and scarlet and flame.
I light a fire, and candles,
place roses in crystal,
polished silver on damask.

You return with chocolate,
perfume. The scent of summer
on your pale winter skin.

I thought I could warm you.
I paint you hot white, sear blue.
My brush strokes are coarse,
palette knife too sharp—
you do not know yourself.

This morning, you are gone.