for Elizabeth, Sinead, Michelle, & Hinemoana

          Hinemoana reads poetry in the first       
     light of the morning where ducks study the   
 revolutionary texts of their shadows stretching
through the water like arteries         
the lake is as deep as the Empire State building is tall
     as dark as the Big Apple is
                  Hinemoana drags men
              into the still water      
                her hands shake in the traditional way           
                     leaving each body to be weighed down by bullion
                    soon the eels        begin to feast    black wires bulging        

                           Hinemoana buys an air fryer        to enjoy her catch              
                       she was always confused by the phrase             
                  friend not food           
             when obviously          they’re foes?    

      before going out Hinemoana makes a face mask
   out of the ashes of coral            
bits of her start to come away                            
           morsels tugging free of    
                   sinew                  sliding off         bone

                        now fully liquid she is ready to leave
                              her house beneath the sea             gone fishing
                                                                 for more bourgeoisie

Copyright © 2022 by essa may ranapiri. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 1, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.