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Sophie van Waardenberg


my body is seven rows of empty chairs
and you are at the front, boring me legless.
be offended, or don’t. every single face of mine
is a safe harbour. every single face of mine is blank.

my body is made out of several kinds of metal
and you are trying to warm it with your small limbs.
breakable. my body is the bone scanner. it is the metal
in your skeleton that alarms you into every country.

go away, well well away, take yourself through my doors
and back into the sun. my body has had its funding cut
and is making you redundant. be offended, or don’t. fly
to france, to california. tell me about it abstractly. wonder

at your luck. my body has a space inside it.
a big space inside it. there it is clean and loud. soon
it will be full of pigeons like piazza san marco.
nobody will be taking any pictures. but you

photos without people are a waste of time

horizons are probably everywhere: just as my hand sets
on your hand and sinks into the skin as you drive; just as
the morning sets on the morning and just as
the rubbish bins set on the streets; just as the red and blue
plastic lids set on the rubbish bins on the streets; just as
the parent sets on the swing in the playground all
that could go wrong; just as a pair of a pair of eyes
set on the map and wander; just as the ice cream in the cold shop
sets on the ice cream; just as the tyres set on the gravel
and percuss us awake; just as the quiet dog at the beach sets
under the lip of the tide and rises with happy teeth; just as
the fish and chip paper sets on the sand just as the sand
sets under wet legs; just as the orange sets on the knife
and turns into two; just as the mouths set together in clumsy sweetness;
just as the heavy sun unable to keep her sinking cheek from the earth
sets. and we write and write about her if our cameras aren’t good enough
but if you think about it a sunset is an easy shape to make

Sophie van Waardenberg is currently completing her BA(Hons) in English and History at the University of Auckland. She is a poet, essayist, and Associate Editor of GeometryHer work has also appeared in Takahē, Signals, Mimicry, and on The Spinoff.