melaleuca

in the estuary there are nymphet girls,
slim-bodied, with doe limbs and navy swimsuits
that cross over on their fauny backs.
they’re gliding on the
insistence of the tide, facedown
in the water, snorkel masks
suckered to their cheeks. and they
drift into my ankles, and they startle
unselfconsciously. I remember
to remember them,
twin mermaids, unafraid of
crushed jellyfish hanging
like amputees by the edge of the water.

it is after the rain, or before,
the sky sagging with
hot evening sun, long lines
of shadow on the grass, in the manuka trees.
the little girl runs
across the grounds, after daddy,
slow blonde comet,
burns to the touch.

 

 

the undream

The morning drip
of my hair

down the back of
my shirt
how slowly
against my wardrobe melts
the sun, cars rolling by
truck brakes
shrieking

a streak
of sunburn in the
middle of my back

a wing breaking through.

He won’t stir while I
am thrashing
fishlike in the net
and if he saw me he’d

only hold me
still
each man has his

different breed
of blindness.

To lift my head,
resurrect the

sighs stealing down
the pillow
staring at a fresh
raw sky, the
lid slipped off

a white shelf
to put my memory on;

or

To get up,
put on a dress stained
deep with
perfume

try not to touch that

niggling tooth,
working loose in the gum.

 

 

Katie Winny (Auckland, NZ) is studying Film & Media Studies and English at the University of Auckland. She reads between the lines.