Tusiata Avia

Nafanua goes to Russia and meets some friends from back home

Maui is outside the government giftshop on Nevsky
looking just like she expects
full face moko whites of his eyes

Never give an even number of flowers
to a living person, he lisps
or count your money in the dark.

Hinenuitepo is kissing a soldier underground
in the Cherneshevsky metro
in a Soviet style jacket and sharp stiletto shoes.

Her teeth are obsidian
and she is composing a waiata
that goes va-gi-na-den-ta-ta or something like that.

Rangi works in a petshop
next to a gunshop where the sun never sets
he sells diamond yellow snakes

and oiled scorpions he hopes no one will buy.
Poor people with hypoallergenic
cats stand outside and offer

them to passersby
Kats, they say in English

Tangaroa's converted to Russian Orthodox
she finds him at the Church on Spilled Blood
mouthing the words in Slavonic

For yours is the kingdom
the power
the glory


Author’s Note


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