E.V. McLoughlin Poetry


On the ward

this is about a pad.
a thick one, hospital-walls green.

I’ve run out.
a one-day mother
in pink pajamas
with out-of-season snowmen.

Don’t you have your own?

a piece-of-liver blood clot,
a memory the size of
my baby’s head,
the bins’ clatter,
the sticky sheets

Don’t you have your own?

maybe I’ll open a bloody pad factory
under my hospital bed
sell them to my inmates
from behind the blue curtain.

you gave me a lingering
soulful, accusing look
like starving children
in Concern ads.

later that day I found
on the edge of my bed
one fucking pad.

Early days

tears, milk, blood
so much fluid,
so little love

my childless midwife
calls me Cleopatra
the best day of your life

we cry in sync
hungry again
lovin’ every minute

smiles are the best
baby smiles at the bookshelf
it’s all worth it

tears, milk, blood
so much fluid,
so little love

in the shower
a wall of water
I hear nothing

Out of place 

I saw you,
Jesus of the Interstate,
white robes flapping
in the moving lights.

I saw you,
Jesus, though I do not believe
in you.

Out of place, out of time,
on the Interstate,
I saw you,
and you held me
among the city lights,
and traffic noise,
and told me,

It will be OK


to the cross-border train between Belfast and Dublin

with bitter fizz in a plastic cup,
I’m alone, on the Starship Enterprise

this is no synthehol
this is G&T, and I am deliciously rattled.

the stars are speeding past behind the viewscreen
I’m about to cross the Border

to seek out strange new life,
where many have gone before

I have two types of money, sadly, not yet obsolete
and the “new life” is surprisingly similar to the old.

I was briefed before my mission
that the peace in this quadrant remains fragile

I should be careful, given my accent
and the schools that I’ve attended

on the subspace channel, they talk
of the outposts of old being restored
The Neutral Zone reinstated

even so, the Enterprise is a ship of discovery,
and I drain the cup, so we rattle on, and I whisper


Funny how that works

the heart needs no engine,
the heart needs no purse.
the approved have disintegrated,
while the disapproved go on


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