Jasmine Gallagher


I lost my red snakeskin wallet at Sampan House
in the Christchurch CBD, before the earthquakes.

My best friend from high school gave it to me
for my seventeenth birthday, with a little bottle

of Lancôme Miracle. We went to Ashburton College—
occasionally wagging school to drive to Christchurch,

listening to The Cure in her Saab, and painting
our nails black ‘til it chipped. On the occasion

that it was lost, my boyfriend at the time and I were
lunching with a dealer to discuss the trade. We

met him at The Ministry nightclub on Lichfield Street,
over the road from the bus exchange where there

was a Nos bar with broken couches on dirty concrete
littered with empty canisters, roaches, and tiny snap

lock bags. Laughing through the hazy glare all together
now: The quake. The rebuild. Yet here a red restaurant

with yellow font and a dragon on it still stands serving us.
And I know a twenty-one-year-old who thinks the world

will end before this bloody city’s fixed. And he can’t
remember the old CBD but school classes staggered in

the suburbs… Sampan House surrounded now by new
squeaky glass blocks. The snakeskin wallet:
                                                                                   still lost.

Jasmine Gallagher is a writer and doctoral candidate at the University of Otago, New Zealand, where she is researching ecocriticism in contemporary New Zealand art and poetry. Some of her writing has been published by: The Pantograph Punch, Landfall, Mayhem, Minarets (ANNEXE), brief, Art New Zealand, Sweet Mammalian & JNZL.
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