On seeing your fault-line scars


your lip/nose/ear/brow piercing
caught the sun
you caught my eye
i see you’re going for that
androgynous canvas look
the career counsellor says
will lose you a job, end you up
on the dol you smirk,
txt your friends ‘lol :)’
school’s been out since summer
with the hack circle rebrand in rubble,
there’s no place
for us now, eh?
the screens are full up with the Nats
Nigel Latta, ‘it’s a crap time
to grow up’ you say
the boy standing next to you doesn’t hold you
he’s gay and his hair is styled sharp
bright white with blue
when you’re feeling philosophical
you think of the glacier-haired boys
and this climate-changing world
you were born into
and wonder whether people resemble
the tragedies of their day



Kelly Pope is a Christchurch writer who works in mental health and co-runs Mad Poets Society events for writers with lived experience of distress. She has previously been published in Catalyst, NZPS and Leaving the Red Zone.