Monday, April 11, 2022

Tohunga by Tayi Tibble


Visionary like my ancestors I / saw a sky of whales / a pale people / like my ancestors I / inhaled the bible / swallowed the rifle like / an 8 inch cock / whateva. / Like Donna Summer I swirled / in a floor length dress / said I love to love / I love to fuck / but just like my ancestors knew / to you I was a savage wild jasmine / a$$ out / blacked out / with dollar signs / feline like a bengal tiger and it’s true / that anyone on their hands and knees / is essentially a praying animal.
Radical like my ancestors I / saw the flower child / the wasted liberals / and my prehistoric / flare wearing prince / and like my ancestors I / kissed and kissed and kissed / and tasted / an entire lifetime of taking advantage and / being aware of it. / So at least / when my dress hits the floor / like molting bark / your eyes follow / and I can interpret / your fixation as shame. / Are you sorry? / And what does that say about me / if I think even a suggestion / of an apology is sexy? So like / my ancestors I / sculpt you from the dirt until you rise I / make you meet my eye / then suck you all up / with a slurp like a kina. / That’s Te Hei Mauri Ora. / Just like Papatuanuku / I breathe life / which is why my mother tongue spits praises despite / it’s history of whippings / I say
good on you babe. / You got what you wanted. / The juicy earth / the factoried women / the rivers / the mountains / all bowing for you. / I’m proud of you / the way you erected / monuments in your image / so foreign so / violently unimagined / just like my ancestors I / couldn’t even have even dreamed it. / Pou after pou / of grey and glass / cracking the sky and the sky / was full of whales. / Wow I say / good on you babe / then I spread / my hair all over the hotel pillow / because I love a winner. And you / hit the jackpot with me / with all us silly girls / for believing you were god / for as long as we did. / But now /
the atmosphere is betraying you / and you are reddening in places / where I can bare it. / A warrior / like my ancestors I survived / annihilation. And the awa / that run beneath my skin / have not been lapped dry / just yet / and you can see it all / the unpanned gold / the wild pounamu / the thrashing tuna / family jewels / you can never have / taonga / you can never taste / forbidden fruits / reserved for me / are you afraid again? / like you were of Eve? / the world / is getting unbearably hot / but so am I / and so is she.

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