aim for a healthy life
the first trying where it all begins
trying all that trying even a trying trying
ignore early trying trying and trying
keep complex trying trying a trying trying
and while the trying may seem to not be trying
the trying you have started may have moved
without trying trying your own trying
and you never know exactly when trying
although there is a small circle of trying
trying generally to survive for longer
but only the most mobile of trying
find their trying up trying into trying
this trying and trying and trying of trying



cumbersome repetitions with friends
it’s so hard to be completely yourself while being beaten around the ears with leafy greens. you can see adequate freedom swinging further away as you try to relax daily and not lift heavy things, blitzing vegetables and exposing your mood, poking out your chin and that no-good nose, your hair basically increasing in volume so that everything feels like it might do harm. oxygen feels dated. you don’t mean to sound irritated, but can no one use an iron anymore? if you hear the phrase ‘your little brain’ one more time… and what does the term ‘women’s clothing’ even mean when they seem to have totally forgotten your shape and the quantities of cereal you must now consume. there’s no rest from judgement. you’re keen to plan a holiday, a comfortable darkness, experience vague happiness and airline restrictions, frown at the food, lean your cheek in toward some regular and gentle insignificance.



Louise Wallace is the author of three collections of poetry published by Victoria University Press, most recently Bad Things (2017). She is the founder and editor of Starling. Louise lives in Dunedin with her husband and their young son.