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Michael Botur



Michael Botur has published creative writing in international literary journals Newfound (US), Weaponizer (UK), The Red Line (UK), Swamp (Aus) and NZ journals Landfall, Poetry New Zealand, JAAM, Takahe, Bravado, and a bunch of shit ones no one cares about, like Prima Storia. 
Botur is the author of three short story collections, available on They are 'Spitshine', 'Mean' and 'Hot Bible!'
Botur has published journalism in New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, Sunday Star-Times and Mana.


C’mon, sweetheart. We’ll stay home, put our Snuggies on, make it a DVD Day. Movies are safe, movies are warm. We’ll get two DVDs for $6 from the store, bag of microwavable popcorn, Coke, peanut M&Ms. I’ll phone school, tell ‘em you won’t be in. We’ll order Domino’s for lunch. I’ll check the time on my phone. My thighs will be cold metal, tingling, clanging. We’ll see there’s only a text reminding you of your dental clinic appointment. We’ll delete it. We’ll wonder how the fuck they got my new number. We’ll phone from a different number, tell them to delete your records. We’ll put the popcorn bag in a microwave that’s got no circular dish. We’ll stop the microwave every minute and rotate it ourselves. We’ll curse the $20 Pall Malls as I suck an orange ember, exhaling out the window. We’ll keep the curtains closed. We’ll feel my bladder contract as a Sky TV aerial guy parks outside our flat. We’ll watch him cross the road. We’ll wonder if he’s setting up a monitoring device.


Put your gumboots on, little man. We’ll need to leave out the back if we hear his V8 rumble into the driveway, or his mates on their Harleys. We’ll wanna call 111 so badly, but we’ll remember the times all the cops had to say was Ma’am – this line is for emergencies, ma’am.


We’ll wonder how he found us. Instagram, we’ll reckon. Never shoulda put those photos of us at Chipmunks online. We’ll leave photo albums as we flee, but we’ll rip the restraining order off the noticeboard before closing the door, ‘cause half the time the cops don’t believe me unless they see it in writing.


C’mon, you don’t need your school bag. It’s a DVD Day, remember? Gotta have some laughs while we’re alive.


For telling my wife I’ll be back by ten, ten thirty at the latest, for paying for your smokes at Caltex and lighting yours for you, for drinking from the same bottle of vodka.

For lighting that fire on conservation land so you’d know I’m a bad boy, for pulling all the liquor out of my bag and saying I had no room to bring a tent, for setting up your tent just the way I like it.

For throwing my promise ring into that rockpool, for saying You oughta dive in and get it, for saying ‘Wet T-shirt contest’ and cackling and standing above, kicking water on you. 

For cooking your hot dogs, for asking you to dish out the coleslaw and buttered white bread, for saying I shoulda married you instead. 

For laughing at your weekly dates that never turn into relationships, for saying there’s no good men out there, ‘less there’s something wrong with you, for guffawing.

For storming into the pines, for letting you cheer me up, for making you put down your ciggies and smoke something else.

For making a bonfire, for my knee touching yours, for stroking a twig out of your curls.

For saying I should’ve brought something warmer than a singlet, for flexing my biceps as I rubbed my goose flesh, for asking Who’s gonna cuddle me? in a baby voice.

For spinning the bottle, for letting the bottle point at you, for saying You don’t have a man, you got no excuse, you hafta spin.

For letting the last witnesses stumble into their tents, for saying It’s just us, let’s play Truth Dare or Promise, I’ll go first.

For saying you’re beautiful.



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