Angela Peita ~ Three Poems

Angela Peita is a Brisbane based spoken word performer, event organiser and workshop facilitator. She is one of the producers behind Brisbane’s vibrant Ruckus Slam and is passionate about creating spaces where art can happen. When she grows up, she hopes to be just like you.

The truth about your depression

So, I’ve never been good at lying.
It’s not that I don’t have the creativity to come up with a good story
It’s just that I never have the guts to pull it off
And It’s not like I haven’t tried
I’ve spent time doing supermarket crimes
Putting my macadamias through as bananas at the self serve checkout
But by the time I get to the car my hearts beating the intro to a cardiac arrest and
It’s just not worth its weight
I’ve always been this way, When I was a kid
My parents would know I’d done something wrong
Because I’d put myself in the naughty corner
So it surprises me more than anyone when you ask me if I can handle this
And the word that comes out of my mouth is

You see I know you’re not good at lying
From those days when you’re limping with cut feet from sharp teeth
And you tell me there’s no demons snapping at your heels
It’s just been a long day
For the days you stand under bright lights without casting a shadow
Because you wear them in your eyes
And you tell us, it’s alright, You don’t mind
At least there you can see them
In the minutes when your smile has fled from your skin,
And you tell me, It’s not me that chased them
But it’s hard to remember when you can’t look me in the eye
Because those wolves that you’re hiding from, They sure look a lot like me

And I try to predict it coming
Like if I know it’s there then maybe I can stop it
I look for clues in the creases of your brow
In the way you hold my hand, Or the way you don’t
And I should be good at this, I’ve spent time with rusty wrists
Threatening to split at the next sign of rain But your pain, Is like the summers first burn when you forget something so beautiful
It can still hurt

And when I met you I stopped being afraid of the dark
We spend so much time with yours, It’s like an old friend
But here’s the thing
I’d trade all my days for nights, If it’s you I‘m with
And you know I’m telling the truth because I’ve never been good at lying
So ask me again if I can handle this
My answer is

. . .

Learning to Count

It’s a matter of mathematics

One tired table hosts
three empty chairs,
while two distraught lovers
cover two months of heartache,
dampen the death of speech
muffling one hand over the other.

Two cups of tea grow cold while
four ears strain against the silence
that was once filled
by one child’s laughter.
One paper crane sits
high on a shelf,
saved from ruin by
ten tiny fingers
while two breaking hearts pretend
not to notice its irrelevance.

It’s ten past ten and
the twenty concerned neighbours
have stopped bringing food,
as if eight weeks was enough
time for grieving.

There are three pictures on the wall,
Stick figure photographs
they treat as priceless art,
too expensive to sell
they think of the countless number
they threw away over his six years,
And break into too many pieces to count.

Two sheets of blank paper mock them from the table,
knowing they will never fulfill their destiny
with two-tone crayon.

It’s a matter of mathematics

When you are a family
three minus one,
leaves nothing.

. . .

Paper Lantern Hands

She has
Paper lantern hands
Folds them in her lap
Breathes out the tissue paper creases
Tells me
She’s not so good with names now
but never forgets a face

When we run into her friend
and she stumbles on the introduction
I hold out my hand
split the silence with a smile and say
“I’m her grand daughter. It’s lovely to finally meet you”

She has
Tectonic plate limbs
She can’t move them too quickly
They’ll send tremors through her body that reduce these bones to ruins
When we begin to run late
I think of every time she missed something
Because she had to read me a story
or teach me to tie my shoes or meet my imaginary friend
And i tell her
Nothing good happens till the end anyway

She has
Salvation in her blood
She’s nursed every sick relative

Knitted comfort between strangers
Written history books of hope
When I watch her bear pain proud
I realise I have her blood too

She has
The stories of my ancestors
But she no longer has the words to tell them
And although I should have asked sooner
today she wants to try
As I watch her fold into frustration
I tell her we should celebrate
That this is life coming full circle
That this silence
Is history too

we have
At least today together
So we let the memories go
watch them catch on the wind
A ceremony of lights

I want to tell her
That it doesn’t matter
but I just take her hand silent
As they slip out the window
Like paper lanterns
into sky

. . .
© Angela Peita

~Bareknuckle Poet Journal of Letters ~ © Bareknuckle Poet ~ Journal of Letters & Individual Authors 2016. Edited by Brentley Frazer, A. G. Pettet & Guests. All works published by Bareknuckle Poet ISSN 2204 – 0420 are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Published by Bareknuckle Books ABN 23 626 812 677 PO Box 5009, West End, Brisbane, Australia 4101 FOUNDED – BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA 2014