poems

 

Thoughts in Solitude

A recluse, I watch –
subject to my post
over there, across the way. I watch
an untouchable world. I marvel
at closed circles,
comfortable silences,
her eyes cast down at her book
his lost in his daydreams. I wonder

how they can be in solitude
with their elbows grazing so gingerly,
as they are.

Darker Days

Then who watches us
in the overcast moments?
When bad days eclipse,
spread in clumps like frozen butter,
rolling with it grains of stale bread
and we curl, quaking from its chill?

Then who praises us
when the work is done?
Our achievements almond flour across our palms,
Residue from the perfect batch, eaten —
and we leave our hands unwashed?

I watch yesterday
from my bedside window,
licking his fingers clean,
and I listen to today’s tummy grumbling
against the hum of my ceiling fan.

SuperBowl Sweater

My ribcage
frays in midst of must in my chest —
a cracked window circulates its hollowness.

Bits of bone fringe,
tassels strung loose in the draft
like strings at the neckline
of dad’s old Super Bowl sweater
he gifted to me, once
folded perfectly with pride,

and now it hangs shamefaced,
fraying by my bedside.

I feel memories of his arms
through these sleeves
and I think again of my chest —
stale wind fraying bits of bone, fringed.

Toothpick ribs bend, shamefaced
like the aging pine tree
casting shadows against
dad’s bedroom window.

An Elegy for Savta

My grandmother’s house
counts her breath on one hand –
body barely held
by flimsy stone
and stripping yellow paint,
veined with brittle pipelines
and heaving ventilation.
Moss and a barren pine
raise phantom flowers to a garden
that bore fruit. Once.

Hungry neighbors wait for her walls.
We hear their feet tap
from inside her crumbling kitchen,
hear their mutters
over moans
from cupboards that don’t close,
gorged with enough
rice and tea
to outlive the finger-count.

And still she stands
as their bulldozer’s smoke drifts towards us
from across the paved road.

12/18

I pry open my eyes

for my final peaks at an Ireland in motion,

but my line of vision hooks deep into fog –

a soft, parting haze

for my sleepy, mournful gaze

 

preparing my eyelids for jet-lag

and Welcome to Jersey signs,

and my family already waiting

with a coffee

at baggage claim.

11/30

(Morning, 3)

In the morning

I let myself lick the bowl –

let my tea dribble down

the corner of my lips,

my breakfast crumbs

gather onto my lap,

morning sprinkles

on the black of my jeans.

 

A meditation in mindlessness-

11/9

(Morning, 2)

I’ll miss the mornings most.

 

Glimpses of a sleepy 6:30 sun

Ribbon the clouds –

slice my window into foggy satin strips,

wake me slowly,

run fabric

over my

eyelids, opening.

 

Quiet grey of my kitchen –

a whisking stillness,

sweeping,

holding furniture in place.

 

My canvas bag drapes over

the shoulder of my table chair,

exactly where I placed it

the night before.

 

I breathe,

boil my kettle for tea,

the familiarity tastes

like earl grey candles

and pancakes.

11/1

(Morning, 1)

When I start mornings like this,

the sweetness

of the berries I eat

seep deep into my clothes

and I wear raspberries throughout the day.

 

Green tea steam

rises from my mug,

sneaks between my curls

and whispers in my ear

to hold my head a little straighter,

a little stronger;

(at least until lunchtime comes around)

10/6

Artists

are connective tissue

across this city.

 

Atoms in attraction,

we hear the tuning of nylon-cell-strings

from the trad pub down the road,

 

stumble up, mince-pie drunk,

wired by cheap Chinese street food

and the promise of midnight music

at the next pub, pulling, pulling us in.

10/8

– “A Weekend in Enniskillen”

The bus bumbles

back past these

toy box towns that I remember.

 

Six hour stretches

of rainbow Jumbo Jenga,

apartment atop apartment

interspersed

with carpets of pastoral jade.

 

Sheep lift their heads to greet us passerby’s.

 

They streak by outside my window

as my poems repeat on my lips

to sink into memory,

reminding me

why I decided to come here

in the first place.

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