when they was young   her husband didn’t mind so much       the mole on
her back was benign enuf he thought       a birthmark   a bit bumpy like the moon’s
crater     shaped like evolution     like part of an ancient forest got pulled rough outta the
earth by it’s roots by a jack-hammer   implodin into space leaving a ruin of stars for
scars         it cd of been smoother he wantd to tell her but by the time he’d toucht down in
her night bedroom     he only saw stars     pohutukawa at its peak       and from a
certain angle in a certain light     he thought he cud see the whole-dam universe wit all its
lil eyes   lookin down on him   in selective admiration

                                        tho he weren’t no scientist man   she’d call him rocketman         at dusk
when he stood behind her     encompassing her in the twilight of his   breath   (warm
enuf to melt a secret or 2) he told her nothin else wud do     til one night wen the moon vibes
was flooding their bed wit the extraterrestrial light of an x file     he noticed her mole
had grown rougher     wetter           denser         wit the jagged edge of a twig here n
there     sticking   this way n that   outta her skin   splitting his lip making him
bleed   makin him see     the sap runnin down her back       for the first time     and the

                                       he never much lookt at it after that     but when her mother died of breast
cancer   rocketman   (kinder than morphine)     got her a mitsubishi fridge   a brand new
one   cos he felt sorry for her       sorry enuf for him to buy her the latest
mitsubishi       cold as hell       like mars he said   its polar blast so spacious she cud
sneak into it wit some room leftover to wriggle round in (after u took all the shelves
out)       & if she stayed there 4 long enuf   she cud (wen she stepped out) shock her
mole into thinking the season was warmer than it actually was     and her back wud thaw
into a wild weed of wonder     lapping up a synthetic spring

                                       rocketman didnt exactly say she shud shave the bark off     (for their
marriage & for a much smoother mole)     but she noticed how he hesitated       how
he   cast his eyes down       & oh dem scratches on his face   so she twistd her
arm     saw in hand       hand on hip     & hackt the hectic outta it   (in a surge of a stab
at self surgery)       but her mole jus grew n grew     she knew   oozing of sap   smelling
of regret

                                        rocketman eventually left their bed for the sofa   the sofa for the
porch     the porch for his out of town business trips     & she’d help him pack       then
go back n stretch-out on the front lawn     smoking a lotus (lit by the rays of the low red
sun)     & wonder whether he was up there     as high as her       watching her       a
tiny spekk on da earth     waiting for her weeds to shoot thru   like halley’s in the
eighties     knowing he cud never slow em down     so wat was the point     he never
gave a shit anyways     he never got lonely in space he’d say   he even lookd forward to
it   (he’d tell her)   but she lookd forward 2 it more (she knew)



Carin Smeaton’s first book Tales of the Waihorotiu has just been published by Titus Books.