blackmail press 33
tracey sullivan
New Zealand

Tui Taonga 1-5 Penny Howard
tracey sullivan writes poetry. She is a New Zealander, currently in Singapore. She has poems in the anthology Crest to Crest and in the literary journals 4th Floor and Blackmail Press 32.  She is not very brave. She is working on it.

In my mother’s house
there is a perfect moth-shaped
chip in the paint
on the bathroom windowsill.

There is an end of silky pink cord
holding the shower curtain in place
where the plastic bit broke.
(It has been there six years).

There are enlarged
photos of her children
up the stair wall - like ducks.

There is guilty cigarette smoke
clinging to the curtains
and the carpet and
the cushions on the couch.

There is the blustered-in washing
dried in the nor’west,
gathered in the sou’west
hastily before the rain.

And at night, late and starless
there is the waft from the
bedside table, of the roses
cut at dusk.


                             Oh, Henry my love

How primitive are we
that buy a ticket
board a plane
and manage a change
of 12 hours in 27?

In the near future
(where no one wants to be)
we stand
at a graveside in springtime.
                              There is no redemption here, Darling
                               You will reap as you have sown.

Throw in sprigs of white
blossom for the children.
Bruise them
with words dropped after
to represent our love.

Know now,

                               as comforts Faith,

the best the future holds
is worm holes to
another time and place.