One, Two

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

And confessing,

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

Wash away

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