Paula Harris


the secret of the universe

sometimes when my rabbit is cleaning himself,
first one leg, then another,
then back to the first,
I lay my head on the floor beside him
and every few seconds
he will pause in his cleaning
to watch me
for a moment

and when he is satisfied with his cleanliness
he will stretch his head forward,
followed by his front legs,
and lick my arm
and I will say
“bunny kisses”
and he will lick my cheek
or nose
or ear

sometimes he will lay his head on the floor,
beside my hand,
pressing his chin into the ground
which means
“scratch between my ears”
“rub my head”
and so I do
and his eyes close a little
and I swear sometimes he smiles

sometimes he will stretch his little body
across my abdomen
resting his head on my breast
and I think
“do you know how much I love you?”
“do you know that I’m yours?”

just behind his ears,
in the crease
on the back of his neck,
the fur is so soft
that when you touch it
it’s like touching nothing at all

and that is the best place to be



Paula Harris is a poet, naturopath and Pilates instructor based in Palmerston North. She loves to dance Argentine tango and has a shoe collection to support this habit. She’s currently completing a new collection of work (should any publishers be interested).