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Ash Davida Jane

Love Poems when All the Flowers Are Dead

This is the start of a new poetry school          It’s called  ~Dinosaur Romanticism~

We write lines like
            I miss you like a long-dead pterodactyl misses the air rushing through its wings!
            You make my body tremble like a much younger Earth under a T-Rex’s feet!

I’d swallow the comet whole for you
but it can’t make them come back
Here’s my ode to a diplodocus                       Here’s my meditation on brachiosaurus hearts
            It would have gone down well in the Late Jurassic era but it’s no good as elegy

Here’s a pile of old bones lashed together +
                                                                         a library like a graveyard with shiny new

This poem is like a bird’s broken rib              It’s so small you’d never notice it
but once there’s enough of them you’ll start to hear it –
                        the gaps in the song

You can dress a skeleton up as much as you want but it still looks just as dead
You can hide the scent
You can come crying when all your books are full of rotting corpses
            & all your love poems are about birds that your children will never see alive
only tiny dioramas in museums
                                    cold bones with the feathers hot-glued on

Fancy Jam

Growing up feels like dancing in a silent room
where everybody else is Armie Hammer

& every now & then Armie Hammer catches your eye & waves
but when you wave back you realise he was actually looking at Armie Hammer behind you

Growing up feels like dying, slowly & in excruciating pain
You can’t even find a good song to play at your funeral

while they carry your body to the grave in a cardboard box
with a plastic souvenir fridge magnet over each eye

because you suspect they might be the fashionable currency
in the afterlife, & you’ll be damned if you let them go to waste

Sometimes when you get bored of dancing
Armie Hammer takes you back to his for the night

but he always calls you Armie in bed
and never makes you cum

Growing up feels like play-acting in the 80s
when happiness was something you could at least put a deposit on

You make me want to take out a mortgage with you, boy
Get up early every day and walk the dogs past all the white fences

Paint our front door red and say
That’s our house there, the one with the red door

Live in our big house with the big windows
that we didn’t even have to give up our university degrees for

Look back on our time among mould-ridden walls
with a hazy middle-aged nostalgia

Sleep naked even in the middle of winter
and warm our hands against each other’s bare stomachs

Sleep in on Sundays and then get up and mow the lawn
with a lawnmower we picked out together and bought brand new

Buy fancy jam and slowly pay off our mortgage as we get closer and closer to death
eating fancy jam

Cats Don’t Meow At Other Cats

People are bad at talking to each other but excel at making up songs about doing dishes to sing to their pets in their pyjamas in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon Do birds ever get stage fright singing their Good Morning songs to the sun Does the deer who stops at a pond to drink ever look at his reflection & feel insecure about his antlers I never learnt how to talk abt anything & now the silence is unbearable Too many of us grow up thinking we are unloveable Look at us all stumbling around bumping into each other like
bumblebees making startled noises & pretending to be a-okay! Imagine a rooster
with a nervous stutter Imagine a frog with a frog in its throat Why
aren’t we all just honest with each other Look sometimes I get nervous
speaking out loud to
other people
be gentle

Ash Davida Jane is a poet from Aotearoa and a bookseller at Unity Books. Her first book Every Dark Waning was published in 2016 by UK indie publisher Platypus Press. She has had work published in Mimicry, Sweet Mammalian and elsewhere.