These long, hot middle eastern nights
Are killing me.
I lie awake imagining
The smell of lemons
And those odd squashed figs
That you gave to my mother.
And thoughts turn greyer
Like irish summer skies over Glenteenassig
And everything becomes bitterer sweet.
This throbbing isn’t just between my ears.
It’s deep in my chest.
And it rises up my throat
With each encroaching minute.
The low slope of your nose
Is still in my minds eye.
You always seemed so unjustly guilty.
And all these words can’t be helping.
Instead let me be brief:
It would be nice if the idea of you
Would let me sleep.
There’s a limit
To how much useful music you can make,
To how much tension you may instill,
To how much damage any one person deserves.
There is a limit to how much
Will soak into the pillow cases,
Into the sheets on her bed
Or the tips of your agitated hands
Or the soles of her yellow harried feet.
There is a point at which the night gives way
To a grey and rainsoaked morning.
And when you hit that wall,
When you reach that bluff,
That endless, precipiced edge,
Breath a sigh of relief and close your eyes.
Don’t be afraid to fall.
Perched on the edge of the sky,
The distance stretches out and distorts.
A rich purple,
A deep navy blue,
The blackest expanse above.
My head is heavy with you.
How the scarlet shall effect.
Your constellations are reduced.
Can I still trace them with the tips of my fingers? Will I still know my way?
How will I get you to reveal those teeth?
Mirrored by beautiful white cliffs perhaps?
Moher or less.
Below the cities of men stretch out
Gold and glittering
Like an expanse of gold chains.
I would scoop up a few if I could.
Take them home to you.
But more chains is the last thing you need.
You have enough of your own making.
These next few days will go slow.
Of that I am sure.
Standing at the concrete wall
At the lookout spot at the top of the Conor Pass,
Your hair a mess of copper wires
Caught by the wind,
You remarked on the
Shadows of the clouds
Moving across the sky and
Blocking out the sunlight.
I like to think that you were the sunlight.
But does that make me the clouds?
Were we the wind?
Is now the shadows?
All this stuff at my house.
Does it have some significance?
What does a toothbrush mean?
This body scrub looks expensive.
Don’t you care about these socks?
Their mouse faces like distorted grins.
Or is it that you fear that I could
Hold something over you through them?
How can facial wipes remind you of a person?
How can they not?
It’s not that I resent it;
I don’t know how to be angry with you.
But this towel still smells like you,
Your pair of slippers are still lying by the door
And I don’t know what to do.
As I trudge along to the stop
Suitcase in tow,
The broken wheel scraping the
Icy concrete footpath,
Crooked little smile sits
Right in the edge of my vision.
Blurred ever so slightly
Like the webs of ice
On the leaves above my head.
So early, cold and quiet.
Even the birds know better
Than to greet this half morning.
I wish I was in bed
Under four layers of blankets.
I pull my hat down tight
And hand the driver my ticket.
11 more hours.
I would like to live with you
In a wood cabin on a lake.
Lying awake at night
By an open fire
With your hand on my cheek,
In my hair,
On the back of my neck.
A Star of David
Hangs in the window.
A pine wreath on the front door.
The pop and crackle.
Your breath in my ear.
The wind at the chimney.
It wouldn’t be so bad.
More of a dash than a splash
Of hot, pungent urine.
Yellow from an apparent
Lack of hydration. A lack of
And on my slipper of all places!
My old brown vegan slippers.
Because somebody cared so much
And I, perhaps, too little.
And all of this because I find myself
Distracted by the thought of you.
By the thought of what you would say
If you were here.
Not ‘here’ here mind.
But perhaps in the next room,
Playfully deriding me for my
Inability to close doors,
Lounging on the sofa
Draped in my soft grey blanket.
Pushing your hair back
Over your ear
And looking up
As I enter
Mostly I feel
That I don’t know
What I am.
Continually in the
saying the wrong thing
(And rather loudly at that)
But when you
Rested your head on my chest
As we stood before an open window
And gazed out across the skyline
Burning in the dwindling sunlight
I forgot about that
For a while.