Two poems by Lara Yelavich-Coddington
I remember riding shotgun as we sped around corners.
Forest out my left window, your hand on my right thigh rested.
At the scenic stop you screamed over the ledge
While I prayed the Remutakas would take me and your melancholia with it
As we turned the corner into twilight.
I remember when we whispered under frozen bed sheets how we would change
As we held onto nothing but the sureness in each other eyes to give us a reason to
I remember becoming giddy
When you are near me, love multiplies!
You said nothing
You said you have no time to love due to all these parasites you home.
Not anything less of extraordinary until winter
When they come and eat away at the walls.
You left after first snowfall. My heart shakes at the memory.
I needed you at the gravesites where flowers rot around names you crammed to fit
in your mouth
I needed you at the funeral where my grandmother cried.
No other reason than just for a hand to hold.
But it is okay. For now. It is.
I wake on both sides of the bed
During this clean autumn light I walk pass roads we used to live on
Searching for something to hold onto that is permanent.
Stay walking until this space is reclaimed and my heart stops calling your name.
Sometimes memory hits like a ten-tonne truck
And sometimes it doesn’t.
Know I am with you at whichever ocean you are singing hymns to.
Know I am with you at whichever ocean you have convinced will save you.
Grief exercise 1.
You hand your tears because no one ever taught you
What they were,
What to do with them.
Foreign to the feel of the lump in your throat
The lump where
language should stick / where your langauge should stick
What did you think these tears would do ?
Hydrate this earth that splits each summer?
I suppose you were also never taught what earth it is you walk on.
I thought as a child I could see through those cracks right through to China
We braid through it like children
Wrap our wounds in its ferns
Startled still at flowers that split concrete
Take your tears west, throw them in a river
Take them to the Waitākere Ranges and let them roll down the valley
Reach the coast line
That sand will stay in your shoes forever
Fear not if the grief dries like blood,
It will wash away in your first swim of the summer.
I thought I could run forever until I grazed my knee for the first time.
Fascinated how blood could dry so fast and just
In waters both full and muddy
I bathed like I would forget how to swim
Some say that we are made from the mud,
Clay formed figures searching for a God that will dress us in flesh.
Only ever wanting to return to the ground.
Do you think that when they wept it ruined their mould?
Rain a cause of ruin
Go back to the earth and reshape.
Emerge again next season full bodied.
Lara Yelavich-Coddington shyly writes poetry, but mostly just wishes she was in an Italian mafia