Saturday, October 24, 2015

Wild dogs under my skirt - Tuisata Avia

Went to the finals of the Auckland NZPoetrySlam on Friday night. What a pleasure to hear Tuisata Avia read this poem. This poem has such special meaning for me and to experience it read by the poet, herself, was an unbelievable experience. Thank-you Tuisata Avia XX

Wild dogs under my skirt - Tuisata Avia

I want to tattoo my legs.
Not blue or green
but black.

I want to sit opposite the tufuga
and know he means me pain.
I want him to bring out his chisel
and hammer 
and strike my thighs
the whole circumference of them
like walking right round the world
like paddling across the whole Pacific
in a log
knowing that once you’ve pushed off
loaded the dogs on board
there’s no looking back now, Bingo.

I want my legs as sharp as dogs’ teeth
wild dogs
wild Samoan dogs
the mangy kind that bite strangers.

I want my legs like octopus
black octopus
that catch rats and eat them.

I even want my legs like centipedes
the black ones
that sting and swell for weeks.

And when it’s done
I want the tufuga
to sit back and know they’re not his
they never were

I want to frighten my lovers
let them sit across from me
and whistle through their teeth.

(Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, 65-66)

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