Michaela Ball – (Year 13, Cashmere High School, Christchurch)

Scarlet Lips

Lips tainted scarlet grate against my own
like bruises and grapes and
like the colour you think a laugh might be.

The words I’ll bow my head in silence
resonate in my ears, but now they’re red,
and I don’t think I can listen anymore.

Sharp, rugged rocks were splayed across
the beach,
              night-time,
                         summertime,
we had a blanket because it was cold,
fingers, hands.

And now, the smooth, hard surface is scratched.
The moon stole my vocabulary,
and left me with a pair of red gumboots

I’ll dirty the ochre-jelly soles,
and pretend I’m someone

else.