Haang Saan

At the cemetery a     single
nucleotidic memory is performed

as we touch our hands together in prayer,
shake them through the air,

only to land them in the food,
digging and digging,     until

we spot the bystanders     watching
us talk to the beyond,

reducing the dissonance,     your
uncomfortable state. If only

I could come closer to tickling
the neurons, pulling them a

part, making     connections
between the benevolence of a

bright summer’s day     and     my inability
to perceive reality     accurately,

because I’m wondering     again
about the market garden in Gisborne,

that little house with the three     bedrooms
where all nine of you slept,     and

I try to suture your faces
with this exact place,     seeing

fourteen little hands     obeying
the action potentials as they dig

amongst the earth. You grin,     hiding
bright emerald peas in the veins

of your aprons,     setting fire to potato greens
on Guy Fawkes, and     never     once

do the lobes function in isolation.     This
is where it all began, and as I     blink

back the day, you are all with me
and I see it clearly now,     how

the shrinking machine operates
on us all—from the trunk     outward

into a fully-grown tree. How powerful
is memory, even when it isn’t your own?

And I let myself     fall
down

into life’s concrete bookends,     revelling
in all this history.

 

 

Brecon Dobbie is a 20 year old student, who lives in Auckland, New Zealand. She is currently completing the final year of her BA in English and Psychology at the University of Auckland.