My Mate Julie

My mate Julie /
hurricanes down Worcester Street /
cycling for leisure /
shouting at men for pleasure /
on her way to Alice’s /
on her way to play /
furious games of Scrabble /

My mate Julie likes to argue /
with people she has known for years /
and when someone has done you wrong /
My mate Julie /
will remind you of the paleness of their spirit /
how it spirals in complete otherness /
to our preposterously glowing selves /

My mate Julie will spy the unrest in your eyes /
she has 35 years on me /
makes it hard to hide /
when she wants to hear stories /
of terrible boys I have known /
and she transforms /
she is a hyena /
when she recalls /
the ‘lovely men in Dubai’ /
who she entertained /

while she was entertaining /
a doctor’s hypothesis /
convalescing in a warmer climate /
better suited to her health /
lungs like hers /
don’t go great down South /

A 19 hour flight provides /
the optimal conditions /
to get through /
Leonard Cohen’s discography /
not to mention /
the stink of adventure /
in brilliant contrast /
to Christchurch Hospital /

When I last saw my mate Julie /
she had made a prison break /
IV shaky in hand /
walked slowly to the library /
to get a coffee /
Julie said ‘Have courage my love!’
and we laughed /
that to be such difficult women /
we had to be born with it /

My mate Julie /
got euthanized on Sunday /
I miss her /
her brown fur coat /
her mouth dark blood red /
singing out a salacious calling card /

‘Hello darling! Have you broken up with that boyfriend of yours yet?’

Poppia Marriott is a poet and library assistant raised in Ōtautahi. She studied classics and spends her time listening to music, thinking about swimming, and refusing to learn to drive. She has written about everyone she has ever missed or kissed.