23 years old
University of Waikato

Kick bucket drum to charcoaled studio curb

You extend your hand

Tight skin, pink nails

Bat thick lashes

Tipped with Revlon

And snow

I’m Angel

A single neon tree

Frames your grinning

Naked scalp

By nature and name

Let Skittle cluster fairy lights

Be your wings

Santa came early

Christmas Eve

Vodka, soup and onyx heels

Chip wood with drumsticks

And your feet

You twirl your scarlet tunic

In zebra-stripe tights

Today for us


Jump cut to well wishes

Drip fed through

Woollen veins

Crash cut to cardboard confessionals

And your three-walled open casket


For one song

Blood flakes on whites

Hold off on dying-

She lost her boyfriend

And her tears are wetter

Than yours

They let you slip away

To cold shower detox

The cat with two lives

I should have known

From the first note

Of his unfinished ballad

That this heatless, gutter swill

Bohemian fantasy

Was keyed to the tune of

Drugs not hugs

Drugs not life

Drugs not the positive representation

Of homosexuality

In a time of AIDS


And ‘God Hates Fags’

His six-string elixir comes

Single use

And who could bear

To let HER go?

He called you up

Wig first

You made it sound like heaven

With the colour palette

Set to hell

Cold sweat

Seizure lust

Red-washed sterile floor

Grief seeps through the seams

Of a crocheted crown

I watched you die tonight

At least you got to

Play yourself out

This poem is part of the TEARAWAY Young Poets feature for National Poetry Day.

The Common Room