shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Jeni Curtis is a writer from Christchurch/ Otautahi, New Zealand, with poetry in various publications including takahē, NZPS anthologies 2014 to 2020, Landfall, Atlanta Review, The London Grip, Shot Glass Journal and the Poetry NZ Yearbook. She was featured poet in the 1919 summer issue of a fine line. Her poem "come autumn" was shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize 2020. She is secretary of the Canterbury Poets Collective, and co-editor of poetry for takahē.

Jeni Curtis

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the father teaches his daughter to kill

her father handed her
the riflethe world quietened
as if time had poisedbreathless
on the fingers of the clock

her sister would pull
the triggerrabbits dropped
in a single boundno word
of murder on small pink lips

at nightbats flittered
across a moonshy sky
she drank the silencesmall
sipseffervescent with alien squeaks

the smell of gun oil will
always hint at failurecold
metalin the crook of a finger
a chance to liveor die