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BooksJuly 28, 2023

The Friday Poem: ‘turning the sphere inside out’ by Joshua Toumu’a

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A new poem by Wellington student Joshua Toumu’a.

turning the sphere inside out

The funeral bunting
Stayed up for weeks
Past the month-long procession

The purple faded to violet
In the forever-summer heat
Windtorn and well grieved

The fairy lights never came down
And the breadfruit tree stopped bearing
While I fed gristle and fat
Through the meat grinder
Hands stained by the smell
For days on end

I spat out milk teeth
By the mouthful
My mother kept them
In a keepsake box
Yellowed and sharp

I have very little presence
When in a room of strangers
I leave it how I entered
The silence unmoved

Life is full of arbitrary rules
That prevent creases and sharp bends
And familiarities

If I could
I wouldn’t wish for immortality
(Not even on my worst enemy)
But rather to be seen

In a world of circles
Of outward-facing
Lonely bodies

Just wishing to be seen


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed but will be open again soon.

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