Two Poems

Photo: A. Strakey Licensed CC BY-ND 2.0.


The family history
Is written on rock.
Six distinct windows,
Each facing heaven:

A corpse garden,
Full of corpse flowers.

Fogarty was the last,
And, because of the pain
Of twelve hips broken,
He never spoke
Until he joined them,
Until his hands drew blood
From stone.


Apotheosis of the Bones

There are moments of revelation, or near revelation, I should say,
When we believe we have tempered a part of ourselves,
Which, until a given point, until this loose and transient now,
We believed represented a fixed reality, a permanent axis,
Upon which we have (re)shaped ourselves, and in this instance,
We assured ourselves, we can find the foundation of our lives.

I, too, have often vowed, sometimes at the haggard time,
When darkness returns to light – perhaps too often then –
That I am changed, have changed. I will begin my life again.

But these moments are, or, rather they have been, until now,
Little more than echoes of what might be – if only –
At least for me, because in my blood a ghostly parallel runs
To the blood of others: a shanking shudder beneath my bones,
And it signifies. It means. It means I can not hold myself back
From yearning. It means I yearn to touch your lips,
And your friends’, and theirs, and I can not stop myself
From thinking of you, of every shape you could possess,
Thin and large, fast and slow, agile and maladroit,
Fat-bellied and bone-heavy, I want them all.

And, even though we have never met, I want to please you,
To plunder every form of you until you are spent.

And I yearn, too, to become a patron saint,
But of blood-heavy bone,
Of wallowing need,
And that thirst you can not shake.

Categories Poetry

Oisín Breen is a Dublin-born writer who has spent much of the last decade living in Edinburgh. In recent months, he has replaced his morning orange juice with grapefruit. He also staunchly rejects the idea that everything is art.

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