Purgatory Doesn’t Say Do I Stop Or Do I Go
by Gisborne poet Benita H. Kape
(after The Entrance to Purgatory
by Ian Lonie)
Purgatory begins slowly, slowly.
We watch and wait for information
There is Purgatory One:
Then Purgatory Two.
And Spain was Purgatory Three.
Oh Purgatory, Purgatory we
cannot believe this.
Now here from behind a
desk as far as we thought
we could be (but there is
Like a wartime announcement
Purgatory within the borders of our
own hills and valleys and cities;
streets and parks, the beaches,
the theatres, the meeting places.
Purgatory knows nothing
about itself; it's having
a pinhead of a ball beyond
We too know little about it
Other than it doesn't say do I stop
or do I go? Oh no!
E hoa, it just goes.
It especially hopped on a plane
again and again.
A cruise ship! It's a wet little cruiser.
Shared through droplets: not
Purgatory does not like soap.
Loves you if you smoke.
While we distance with language.
Pleased to metre you on the
footpath or in the supermarket.
At home a wine glass of time
and a game of solitaire