They Keep the Curtains Closed
Margaret Moores (Massey University)
I would rather be watching television. The streetlight marks an emerald pool in the soft damp of new mown grass. You know you will get it on your shoes. My foot performs a pizzicato on the spokes of my bicycle. They close the curtains to hide their lives from the street. If I open my mouth his tongue. The apple tree wears layers of pale petticoats like a wedding dress. Confetti all over the lawn. The taste of cigarettes and possibly bourbon. Years later I compare notes with sisters. They mention fear and shame and the tiny apples which draw all the saliva from our mouths. In the movies the girl always closes her eyes. The cup of tea at nine o’clock. All the greens dissolving into blue shadows. Malachite, viridian, verdigris. I had a green dress with a sash which my father tied into a symmetrical bow. I can hear the sound of the jug boiling, or is it the teapot on the tin tray, the biscuit tin clattering? A burst of music and flickering light from the sitting room. Green environments reduce fatigue. Snails slide silver threads through the flower bed: even now the scent of lavender when I wash my hands. The pedal of my bicycle revolves once. His hands hurt my breasts. Grease on my white ankle socks.
Margaret Moores was a bookseller for many years but now works as a publisher’s sales representative. She is currently a student in the Master of Creative Writing programme at Massey University. Her poems have been published in Shot Glass Journal, blackmail press, Meniscus and in Poetry New Zealand Year Books 1 and 2.