the sky folds open every morning like origami
and i fold out with it, like butterflies,
like pretty birds, lifting away,
only to be caught in the creases of the ocean.
they say that if you make one thousand
paper cranes, you get a wish.
if my fingers did not ache, i would fold and fold and fold
until i got not one wish, but a million,
and i would scatter them across the sea
and kiss the feathers that wash up on the shore each year.
my lipstick stains are stuck on the softest things in the world
like clouds and the boy who didn’t say goodbye.
he dipped his finger into sunsets
and painted my eyes red, orange, fire,
and i would spread that burn out across the ocean
but my fingers shake
and nothing comes out of my mouth but air.
Pakuranga College, Auckland