Alisha Vara – (Year 12, Rangi Ruru Girls' School, Christchurch)

strawberries strung on lines

I

the house is vast
and blank.

every good boy deserves fruit, you
whisper, your face imprisoned

in me where
a gazelle creeps through green,

through blood,
raw and persisting
as we say grace.

II

the world never seemed
so bizarre before.

I cut my fingernails short and
paint them red,
like red strawberries strung on lines,

stolen lines with a certain kind of grace.

I want to know who will read this, read my
mind and see me lost within the bed like I
see it now and

make it clear I could never quit
your morning coffee or sad smiles.

I will not show this to anyone.

III

we have just begun.

you say sanguine and repeat it.
I am cycling down a hill with the rain,
soft and endless.

what would you do with the sky

unravel and weave it through your ceiling,
string it down your harp?

your hands rough and
dry on my skin.