by Tim Upperton
All your life you tear at it, you rip it like paper.
A crossword-clue ghost, at the end it rips back. A spurred
word, it’s very fast, like sprint only no prints there—
who needs feet when the ground tilts so far beneath you,
wonderfully green yet complicated, a cross-hatching
of highways and fences, amazing! But oh for a roof
that isn’t red, red . . . a differently shaped pool! What’s
so pleasing about a kidney, anyway? Why ever go back
down? You bank and test the wind’s strength and make
it yours, like a plane you’re flying and you know how,
it makes sense, but where is everybody? Why are you
alone up here with this fierceness? Your bones hollow
like a bird’s, fill with light and air. You are becoming light.
You are a new singing and it is cold, colourless, and bright.
Tim Upperton is a creative writing tutor at Massey University, New Zealand. He has published poetry and fiction in various New Zealand and overseas magazines, including Sport, Takahe, North & South, Dreamcatcher (UK), and AGNI Online. He has won several prizes in New Zealand for poetry and fiction, including first and second prizes in the national poetry competition run by Takahe magazine. (10/2004)