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Kate Tobin

We're The Fanatics

There’s nothing funny about this.
There’s nothing funny about – me going headfirst
down the movie theatre stairs, half holding-on, half bloodied-up,
fat-lipped and – faking a laugh, after, because you’re laughing.
I’m a comedy of errors with a body count and you think it’s –

There’s nothing cute about any of this. You taste like sprite,
I taste like blood, that’s pretty standard fare for me.
They call it a murder of ravens, and I want to know what the plural is for
embarrassments. I’m playing at normality as best I know how.
You think that’s –

There’s nothing sweet. It’s just blood. We’ll get over it.
A fall’s the only way I’ll ever go first, just FYI. You’ll be the one
pushing me, your palm and my spine. I want to – I want to –

I want.

There’s nothing. We’ll have to get over it.

More Than That

She’s a girl with crocodile eyes and a very spartan mouth.
A mouth that looks unassuming, or aesthetically minimalist
like a fancy inner-city apartment with industrial light fittings.
Plain and functional, but in an expensive way?
Like white porcelain, or like the entirety of the national transport system.
State Highway One, with less roundabouts.

She’s a girl like an installation made of broken glass and wire,
wound together by hand. Pretty, maybe dressed in a little blood?
Artisanal. She’s a girl who talks like bright, like strawberry guava,
like a ‘play next’ that you don’t fast-forward through straight away.
She looks like a therapist who you think might not tell on you
for all those dirty, nasty, bloody thoughts you have.

I’m a girl like I am what they made me.
I’m a girl like I’m clutching the front of someone else’s shirt too hard.
Hello? I’m plain like a bomb went off once and levelled me
down to ground zero. I’m walking around like an
elaborate victim full of radiation, powdering my face white to hide the marks.
I’m probably wearing one shoe. Do you think she noticed?

I’m a – I’m a girl, probably. Don’t look too close.
The paint’s cracking through. That’s the thing about using interior paint on exteriors.
Bound to fail, and that’s an ongoing theme. Bound up in a pretty bow,
all civilized, centred on my carotid. Red isn’t my colour, but I don’t mind
choking a little every time I turn my head. Captivity is one of the lesser evils.
Like a finger to the lips to hush, like the taste of strawberry guava and light.

I’m a girl like I am what they made me.

She’s a girl like we are what they made us. But we’re more than that, too.

Kate Tobin is a Massey student and a professional dressage rider for whom writing is the world’s most demoralising hobby. She has also been published in Headland.