green heart


We always swat
away the other
from our line of sight

We stare into the mirror and twist,
our neck
to the right
just so
the shadow
of influence the
lines of convergence

At openings we say,
Oh, it was nothing
our shadows
dancing around our feet
scuttle to the corner
The sparkle of glory
atomized in prosecco
spiked in kisses
the gracious arc of neck
smooth dip gulf

divide of shoulder blades
of a back pulled
tight by ribboning a
chiaroscuro for lineage gold
earrings in the mirror.

Songs in the key of minor
literature stuffed in diaries
made silver in celluloid
refracts my
watchful gaze your coy rebuff

black velvet choker constrained
by historical referents
heave and sigh and tighten and loosen the
noose from which you—

meaning gleaned by
stained spectral licks
the pages as she turns
paper thin

By permanence tracing an arc
over miles of brilliant cerulean we are linked
by ragged exoskeleton dressed,
a polyphony of voices cancel out the other

Does anyone believe
in the idea
of a woman alone

The sharpened degree of my jaw
bathed beige
a mismatched shade
the yellowed dark of night on cheek, raised
to meet
eyes lowered, forth

Lock of hair shrouds the pupil glistening  
loading your mind
the deceiver and the deceived
my cadaver
a chimera
unaccompanied, I am omnipresent
I fill the room

My bedroom door
closed my
pocket jingling keys.

last time


I want to be undressed
in the way that I undress

in a cobalt and copper climate of sweat
straps slip

I remember that night
more than entire years


Anna Rankin is a writer, editor and publisher who lives between Los Angeles and Aotearoa. She completed her MA in Creative Writing at the Institute of Modern Letters in 2018.