Janet Lilo visual artist

My friend Tessa King 2014


I got a call from you
when she passed away
so I drove straight to Bellvue
we hugged tightly for a long time
and with hands on both my shoulders
eyes still filled with tears
you said: Janet, you have the perfect nose

The first time I visited your house we were thirteen
I had the most fucked up experience with the school counselor
who probed issues I couldn’t deal with at the time – so I ran away
you hardly knew me but offered to click me a Ritchies seat to Mt. Eden
and I spent the entire ride crying next to you

The steps leading to your house were the steepest ever
in years to come I would learn to skilfully navigate these drunk
then stare at the stars on your ceiling or Björk poster on the door
Mungo was lying in the hall and your mother was in the garden
she was one of the most inspiring people I had ever met
told me to Kia Kaha for the rest of my life
in a book she gave when I turned 21

Sometimes when people ask that question – how did you meet?
I think for me this was how I met you
on the very day I needed saving

Arohanui x j

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