five fingers


the chilly morning moon
seems to be rising

our fingers brush over
pieces of this city

clasps hook together
enclosing my diameter

my beautiful hair
fell everywhere

this city spreads herself
like parts of speech


conversations, held, without touching


looking out above Newtown’s shoulder
there was always a plane, rising gently

the tom tacks from parked car
to parked car, spraying our street

who was that girl! all in purple
skipping down our street with balloons trailing after her

grease lifts off the glass and swirls
under hot water

she felt sad and listened
to Beethoven

a fire engine sprang out of nowhere
the siren came on right on our doorstep

the evening is blue before it becomes black
cars file past us, 2 women and a little boy

he left me unfinished, talked of babies
but in the end was absent, wasn’t he?

she showed me landscapes in chalk and i wanted one
desperately, wanted to take it, claw at it, eat it, wear it

the wall vibrated
beneath my foot

your hand shook, holding the dropper
you said you’d begun to place your hand on your belly

or was it the sunlight
on concrete?

the air burned with the sound
of metal pouring

it was worth the pollution to scoot past the bakery
and smell that delicious bread rising



Emily Dobson grew up in a family of beekeepers and bus drivers. She is currently studying English Literature and Te Reo Maori at Victoria University of Wellington. She has been published in JAAMTakaheSalient and The Listener.