Is it dirt or healing?
Here we are now, standing in generalised anxiety. Our buildings are losing breath at the aorta and feeling phantom pains in the basements and where the urapaa (grave) used to be. Your child has muddy hair and long hair and hair now bedraggled to the ground, calling for a reckoning and sounds, (not to be suppressed). We could have been a compost pile, giving up our bodies to grow healthy weeds as limbs. Instead, they pull the plastics out of whale stomachs while clutching our own.
You lifted up your throat, sunscreened, and held it out too long against the ozone layer. The hole above our heads is big but the looming patches we see ahead are what frighten me now. I’m gonna play first-person shooters till we make eye contact then drop to my knees; replace our prisons with restorative justice and welfare and write back to Chris mowing lawns in Tongariro Prison. I’m gonna.
Here we are, now in this time of useful consciousness. I hold up my babies face to your life breath and share our past as well as our future. We will take all of us, this future, I’m gonna.
Four years after climate trauma I forgot this place. In the centre of the city where the buildings used to tower above me, they have been replaced, new banks and new gaps, and the gaps held something new for me for a while before turning to expose new insides of fuels and plastic. This is the same place/ This is a different place. You can no longer afford it.
We sound sullen and serious for a second, like we used to and your hair is blowing in your mouth and your dead-alive mother sounds like a nice person to have. We crawl up the hill in the heat, I mean we walk this mountain. Sweat bathing and hushed voices, we stopped living here after the gorse took the bush back and the supermarket was buried alive underground, (true story). You can’t give away free food because it would flip the economy. You can’t wait till the gorse prepares the soil for Totara trees, you’ve got to light it on fire.
In the leftovers of us, the water grew inside the city through the bigger-than-two-cm cracks: reduced the buildings – we had loved – to rubble. Built new buildings. We lived in the rubble. No. We live in fear. We will have to.
Sol Marco Duncan works as a support worker for people with disabilities and peer facilitator for gender minority youth in New Zealand. Their creative work draws from the strength and importance surrounding support systems and self-advocacy experienced in their work and life, as well as themes surrounding body, community, inequality and the environment. They work frequently with people and groups undergoing strong, difficult experiences or crisis; yet finding strength and action in shared group membership, storytelling and advocacy. Sol Marco uses their work to express some of these strengths and struggles, as well as directly working as peer, and in solidarity, with communities to support their actions and solutions.
featured image: Bob Modem