This is a love poem

Three poems by Hannah Patterson

If i could i would

angle the sun towards your face, so for once you could be

brazen in the heat &

cradled in light.

Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten

eels in the ocean,

forgotten,

grass-grazen kisses on your ankles,

how each night

i pull the moon

jagged to your window like a

kid,

like look at me i’m languid and lovely, i’m

mist made molten in your beam

If i could i would say

no more dragging yesterdays

over every crack, no more

patiently waiting to see what

quietly slips, holding down lips.

Running over every hill, if i could i’d take you

someplace where only the light gets in and

tell them about the sky how i split it, held it,

under the underpass where the cars were like rain, and

vivid was my face from the

weight of it all, for you Libby i was

exactly where i was supposed to be,

you take every

zero i’ve ever known & you throw them across the sea.

New Year

Had it been a mistake,

To turn my back?

The car wound its way up the

Golden hill. Led me to a

Valley of sandflies. Just past

The pounding mass of people

Losing their minds at the river’s edge.

Scraping at the edges of ecstasy. Glacial

Streams. Mountainous clumps of grass.

Pulled like a fistful of hair.

If I could disintegrate I would.

Collect the last dregs of fire wood.

Sure and crisp and still.

Believe that you represented the

Something I’d always suspected I lacked.

A body dancing in the heat. A

Castle carved into sand. Music

Too light for me to comprehend.

Maybe it was wrong to place you

At the top of the stairs like that. To

Pretend your heart was a chest of

Drawers, like there were things

In there that I needed. But there

Were things in there that I needed.

Things I would only ever

Glimpse.

Lady bird

Feeble, we were

riding the bus like

burrowing through soil.

We pasted our smiles

on backwards. Pacing

the waterfront. Slipping

The past like a distant bell, a

were-wolf in a far-off

village. We swapped secrets

Like aniseed wine. Like

ladybugs slipped under

skirts. You made me

Feel like a fugitive. Mud,

hardening at your touch. Like

I was some caged

Beast and you were the

dancer. More than any

thing I wanted to leave.

More than that, I wanted

to watch you dance. There

is something golden about you.

It crumbled like sugar,

in my animal hands.

Hannah P is a writer in Wellington. She likes reading books and barking up the wrong tree.