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March 27, 2017 | by  | in Poetry |
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Fā Paia

well, [in thick black ink, siapo]

you broke me open.

so i seek you

out again

to heal


(lou tupuga — what would they say now)


try ssssever all links with the past

but it keeps coming back to bite you,

weil lo’u kuna.. (i can hear you snicker at the cliché)

‘ia nofo i lalo (stay close to the ground)

where are we going? (some supermarket excursion)

when are we going to see all this as-yet-unshown footage? ;)


sound punches holes in silence, in watching

low-frequency. tilted crosses with fingers, fa’afetu

carving up space. eyes like aiku.

tasi lua tolu-


(now echoes of something else)


wake, tasting

moans in the mouth

(nah, but nah: would you fuck one tho?)

Live. Your. Life. (whose life?)





[break] when cis-het-able indigenous people say,

“we are still here”

we think,


knowyoudontknowyoudontknow you.

aua — fa’alogo mai

‘you’ exist because of ‘us’

aua le va

if you don’t know us

how can you know yourselves?


{breathe} gender is in body (or not)

gender is in voice (or not)

gender is in clothes (or not)

gender is in moving (or not)

and how (got love for that)

female intersec[t]s male

says: “I Am Fa’atama, Fa’afafine, Fa’aafa”

(and expecting no mention? uce…)


(we are the ffffirstbbbbirth)

(hear us roar) (hear — ) (now watch us bloom).

give, receive, carry — Life (now hold that-)

the divas, the queens, the kings, the studs

‘auivi o tala tu’umumusu

(and is this it? ‘ia sola, leave the church hanging.)


later, later, later

watch night dissolve into cigarettes outside

and the familiar become strange

draw stares in from outside and other


we walk the streets

see their heads bow, eyes hit the pavement

make way for the niu akua

now watch us as we go


— Luka 林-Cowley

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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