How Firebrace got His Wings for that Bridge Incident (song 4 te rara o te rangi)


Fang fabricated da wings for that bridge incident (before her husband moved shop to ōtāhuhu) for firebrace who’d often visit her fabric shop initially needing a pick-me-up a lift a kick an escape from the digging bein dug for digs by dicks who didn’t wanna miss da boat dem deadwood profits on great north rd and firebrace saw how fang wud bring out her fluid fed silks transparent as dew at cost cut prices rollin out majestic like da living lickin ocean tongue these budget bridal virgin waves smooth as blue as blue as crystal how she’d measure dem diamond silks to the square to the dot to da exact milli-metre edge to edge corner to corner how she knew every point of where to tear wit care the measure of the customer’s instruction (or even if there weren’t none) 

and when her husband sponsor suspected something at work weren’t quite right (wat wit her very long hours) fang wud show him the books and say look dear they balance as balanced cud be in flow & in numbers as quick as the quick prickt slow plucked wings she were making for firebrace’s maiden voyage sneaking an extra cut here an extra cut there to stitch into a flight fit for a rangatira held together by the fire-bones of a taniwha spine wit tohunga skill (yeh she were the first hong kong tohunga firebrace had ever met) and she cud cut da direction of the wind wit her hōkioi gaze and light box remote 

and don’t she know it how firebrace wud feel like his ancestor felt looking over the highways of trickling southbound traffic from the top of bond st bridge under the rib of da sky watching dem moto eels glide down the silver stream of cemented highway asphalt love burning a waiata for te rara-o-te-rangi ready to reclaim da land and firebrace’d be near invisible to dem drivers below who’d be shielding his glare wit their anaesthetised elbows only to catch a kitsch-eye view of his way-out wings wide stretcht apart hearing him sing   i might have no land yet but   i got me new wings so now all i need is a woman


Carin Smeaton lives in Te Uru Karaka, Tāmaki Makaurau. Her first book, Tales of the Waihorotiu, is forthcoming from Titus.