A rattle of keys at the back door
We waited – wary
His face shut tight against us
Like a fist
Toed-in, he crouched over furtive whiskeys
Over chin and cigarette
And we ghosted from the room
With nervous grins
But once he showed me Dickens
And Maurice Walsh
And he was The Small Dark Man
Alone in a house of women
Cut off by his country voice
From the town
From an old melodeon
Sometimes – surprised
His face would lift with love
And fall again
Now I surprise myself
Toed-in, crouched over flagrant whiskeys
Fingers curled over chin and cigarette
And I have to leave the room.
Tinted warm by rose and amber light
Melanie smiles and pouts her painted mouth
Exotic spider, webbed in scarlet silk
She wears the face of Venus, Helen, Circe
Drawing one-hour lovers to extol her grace
And wit. She lends her body, listens, comforts
Promises a paradise of lust
The door lets in the shocking light of day
Melanie leaves, her pockets full of gold
Her eyes are clean and cold and bold
And know the secrets of the world.
- Child of my child, I
scoop you up and hug you, breathe
you in and keep you.
2. Daffodils today;
chuir siad gliondar ar mo chroí,**
glowing, golden bright.
3. A rose, heart-stopping
red, intoxicating scent,
irony of thorns.
** Irish for “they bring joy to my heart”.