Kākā have been screaming across the sky.
I’ve been thinking up jokes to tell myself.
One of the dogs pisses on the floor as soon as I leave the room.
The other dog follows me around the house.
There are a lot of dogs in the neighbourhood.
I am sure they know how to behave.
They don’t bark so much.
I’ve been preoccupied with what others think again.
I’ve been trying not to let people down.
Nights are not long enough.
Lately there’s been more sun than I would’ve expected.
I keep the weather report open in its own tab and check it often.
The internet has most of the answers I’m looking for.
Some of my questions come up at inconvenient times.
Some are just hard to explain.
Like, when people say ‘I want you inside me’
do they sometimes mean cannibalism?
Or that they want to inject your fluids into their veins?
Or do they only ever mean something plainly sexual?
Don’t laugh, it’s not always obvious, and
sometimes desire can make us hungry or violent.
Maybe healthy emotional behaviour wasn’t modelled to us as children.
So we bite. We draw blood. We take things that aren’t ours, I don’t know.
Jane Arthur, Craven, Victoria University Press, 2019
Jane Arthur was the recipient of the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize in 2018, judged by Eileen Myles. She has worked in the book industry for over fifteen years as a bookseller and editor, and has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the IIML at Victoria University of Wellington. Born in New Plymouth, she lives in Wellington with her family. Her first poetry collection, Craven, was published in September 2019 by Victoria University Press.
Victoria University Press page