Marissa Johnpillai comes from here and there and goes anywhere, but her vegetables are planted in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has studied and taught creative writing and has been published in newspapers, magazines and journals in New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and the UK. She recently
completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University of Wellington.  She has written  several novels but they all look like poems.

  S  e  c  r  e  t  s    blackmail press 24
Marissa Johnpillai
New Zealand

the secret is

the sky
is water

it seeps
at every
crease of her, each
ever-green brush kept

                & yes
    the sun may chill,
    may break her in
    to a cold sweat

                & yes
    the children squeeze
    inquisite knees and
    elbows tween the sheets

          you're quiet like a daughter
          with her finger in the cake

under covers ranginui
draws her thunder
to ventriloquy

when you come to know what happened, but not why

for akina


    in a mesh
pink dress
a kink of candyfloss
walking jellyfeet

one foot
then one foot
fits into the hollow
of a palm

one hand
clasps a finger


an empty canoe
is pushed across
a river

bed to bed

returns to sender

in the ear of
the beholder:


many warm lips
on your cheek


    your ringlets