Kali goes to Christmas Dinner - Rachael Elliott

Kali leaves her kitchen
wet newspaper
becomes a kitten
scrabbling on the road
eyes shine
from coke cans
she drives into the rain
and the pain uncurls
behind her eyes

Her uterus is up for discussion
frayed female 
flatmate wanted
the orange spanking spoon
left in the pan
can’t handle the heat
bin it

cut the cord
Exactly what sort of job
will you do
after all this university study?
strawberry tops
like snow
to cover the tissues in the bin
and how much will you make?

The turkey reminds Kali
she needs new moisturiser
none for Christmas
just a pink lipstick
lotus flower candle holder
‘Grow Your Own Boyfriend’
just add water.
scaled legs
wrap around her chest

Kali clicks herself on the table
Isis and Demeter pull crackers
for foetuses and paper hats 
Her mother gifts Kali
a 6 litre slow cooker
and a 5 piece platter set
in blue and yellow
to feed her unborn children
her unwed man
as Kali’s Master’s degree is for
husband hunting
but no crossbow
for Christmas

Her mother preaches the Christmas sermon:
Kali will never know love
she needs a husband
to look after her bills
equality comes later
wiping a man’s ass
when he is old
the financial debt
of a swollen belly

She does not notice
men’s cheating hands
cut, spread over Kali’s waist
their lie spun heads
hung from her ears

She does not see
Kali’s lover kneel
beg her to put her feet on him
that he might kiss them
so he can sleep

Merry mother fucking Christmas.

Kali Looks at Facebook Photos of Her Friend's Baby - Rachael Elliott

One month on
the worm has no name
they call her baby
tiny perfect fingernails
carve into her tiny
perfect face
Kali licks her finger
covers it
imagines it clicking
against the rest
around her
They should call her Kali
the red one
wrap her in a red dress
full of pins
to draw up her 
she’ll like it sharp
and bloody

baby lives in a letter
sealed with spit
pink booties remove her hands
slap her bottom
smooth as a dog’s headstone
strain her through muslin
double dose of baby ibuprofen
down for the night
cosmopolitan for Kali

baby smiles
spits at you
farts on your arm
You never sleep
Your breasts
empty and cracked
learn to peel apples in one
of skin
for eating
and Kali lights her durrie
toasts the bags under your eyes
here’s to your success

Kali gets a text message from her ex-boyfriend - Rachael Elliott

The phone is a flare
in the night sea
that traps me

it spreads itself along
the darkened wall
I’ve woven over
the wound of body

it proclaims you miss me
with a heartfelt
sad face

That was Tuesday.

By Friday
(and despite a text reply)
there is still no word of you.

I can no longer smell
the smoke of your despair
floating towards
my waves.

I wonder if I imagined it
swimming towards me
through the dark
bait glowing
before the open sex of your mouth
(angler that you are)
but the time stamp’s there
even if you are not.

What is it you miss?

My closed mouth?
Eyes sewn shut
with the nylon lies
you spun to keep me
on the hook of your bed?

Do you miss the burley
streaming from my lips
and the yips of my

Do you miss the way
my seaweed-salted hair
in your current?

Do you miss the way I taste?

You do not speak,
but should know that
the thing you miss
is gone.

I rasped it from my flesh
with the coral necklace you gave me

now I am a red sponge
pulled from the tide
to dry
on the rock of myself.

Contributor's Note

Rachael is currently studying towards her Masters in creative writing. She has just been appointed Editor of Waikato University's Nexus Magazine and her work has previously appeared in 4th Floor Literary Journal. She recently won the 2014 2degrees Poetry Slam with her performance of 'Write the Body Bloody'.


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