There is a scalpel in my left ankle. Even if I wanted I couldn’t pull it out.
The surgeon left it there to remind me that there is pain in every step.
He forgot a syringe in my right shoulder. When I shrug in disbelief
or sometimes out of pure ignorance, the needle is unrelenting.
The doctor used a fine yarn to write his poem on my decolleté.
Fingers feel the braille which doesn’t mean I understand its message.
But my lover reads it in sonorous voice, hums every syllable,
his lips on my skin breathe song into sound. He gave me
a necklace of rose quartz. It is heavy like the smell of hollyhock
just before the velvet petals fall. The ground moist from rain.
On Pope Francis’ visit in Ireland, August 2018
I send her shells and feathers now and again.
The envelopes bulging like my pockets
with the pebbles I keep for myself.
My coat has many pockets and
there are pockets in my cardigan, too.
When I don’t walk the beach, I sit at the window.
A lorry delivers Mother’s Pride to the shop,
Guinness barrels are rolled into the hotel.
Morelli‘ s ice cream parlour sells scoops of salty caramel.
The sea is a cheap tin plate today.
Gulls dance on unpolished metal. The mountains
bend like a corrugated iron shack after rain.
In the glen, behind the old farmhouse machinery,
a man jerks off over a photo ripped from the family album.
Up the lane, a torn picture is caught in the hedge,
an arm with a doll dangling on it. Further down,
a doll‘s head moans in the grass.
Behind me, the telly is on silent. Pope Francis begs
forgiveness at Knock Shrine. In Tuam, people stand vigil.
I send her shells and feathers in a bulgy envelope.
I keep the pebbles for myself, add another layer, a shirt.
And there are pockets in my shirt, too.