Bitch

is what you’ll call me once you’ve read this, onceyou’ve reset your system, swallowed the surprise of menot being meek, soft-spoken, pleasant, accommodating, tryingtoo hard, instead lashing out with intent, thinking for once that you can take itas you once thought of me what else do you call leaving the bed to sleep on the […]

Postcard from Hawaii, pt. 2

Another postcard, issued by Coral Cards in Honolulu this time. Fold it open and it says “Mele Kalikimaka Me Ka Hauoli Makahiki Hou.” The cursive font is intricate and beautiful and bright red still. Below, a slighter but capitalized font provides a translation: “Merry Christmas” it says and “Happy New Year.” The date is December […]

When I leave Northern Ireland

After Colette Bryce When I leave Northern Ireland I want heavy rain,the damp in cars and clothes seeping into bones, coming out at bedtime in shiversthrough the belly. Want bedsheets and kneesocks pulled up high; the high drama of waterhitting window hard.Great drying and brave skies are for another day. I wish the weather would […]

The Question of Happiness

The question of happiness threw meAs did your attention to the magnolia treeThough I had seen the wideness of your chestThat some call heart and some soul And upon thought I’d venture to say thatThe chest is where happiness residesWhere light and dark conspire to create Or resolve the dragging weight of thought. And I […]

Daybreak in Dublin

It’s a hotel I’d almost recommendIf only you’d remember to not drink the water,Keep your nose from the dust off dry-cleaned towels,Leave on your socks at night,Plug your ears and draw the curtainsAgainst the encroachment of light. At daytime the location affords views onto the back ofThe Custom House but next to no peaceIn the […]

Chance Meeting

To Belfast, with a visitor’s thanks At the top of High Street, in sight of Zara still, I’ll spot a copper penny and kneel down to pocket it. And briskly you’ll come walking down towards me and swiftly sweep me with you as you pass. And as we walk I’ll listen to your somersaulting voice […]

I packed my bag

Guilt is a heavy bag. It has no shoulder straps, no wheels. You lift it by a single leather handle, carry it with one hand and then with the other and when it gets too heavy to carry you twist your body into a sideways hunch and drag it along behind you. It bumps into […]

Nocturne

Shooting stars? O spare me Dying planets like our own and their light already spent When they deem to grace our eyes Call me uncouthBut I too have crossed the tropic of jealousyWith desire that no moon can purge As if love was ever selflessAnd a just and gentle god shone his countenance On our […]

Postcard from Hawaii

There is a postcard my grandfather sent. “Lovely Hawaiian Hula Maiden” the description says, in bold print, on the back and below, a little smaller, “sways to an island melody.” The postcard is dated July 25, 1967, when you had just turned fifteen and is addressed to you, his namesake. On the front, the Hawaiian […]

Lullaby

for my grandfather As he lay stretched out on the rosy setteein their brassy becushioned sitting room Next to the radiator running on oilthat never ran out, that was in abundance, Beneath the panoramic window thatgave on to the garden’s moss, bush and plush Under the rug she’d crocheted that winterof no return, against the […]