Plumes of Thirst
Lead feet the winter has,
A wrap of nettles worn,
Yet they move, sweepingly, like hands
Tossing coppers to open, willing thighs,
To split them to the bloody maw,
Yet the form full, human is it not,
It is instead a plume of thirst,
Full of rhythm,
The melody gone,
Its music is full, but null of tone,
A beat set to the sashaying lilt
Of fissuring hips, pockmarked
With the signature stamp
Of the nearly dead,
Yet we follow the path
Of the self-abortion,
Of the gull’s neck snapped, while flies feast,
And the birds bloated belly breached,
And now, as we eye each other, every fold of skin,
And lick our chops with necrotic mystifying fervour,
I am forced to understand that when I drink you,
I drink your terror, and when I touch you
I murder, and this is why I adore you.
Now birthed, your belly was once full of me,
And mine of you, and I want
Only to drink from you, until we are dead,
Yet we retreat, baulking at the gift of new life.
A Bed of Flowers
My vision of tomorrow is undone:
A grey dawn, lit by an inferno,
And I can trace a litany of lines,
Floating down the Liffey,
Down the Tolka, and the Dodder, too.
And what comes next,
Is paradisical laughter,
A Tunguska of heartbeats,
And heaven, in prayer.
But as I rest,
Searching the clouds,
I see terrifying shapes.
So I pray to the Earth,
To wrap me tightly
In a bed of soft flowers
So that I might sleep.
Irish poet, doctoral candidate, and journalist, Oisín Breen, a Best of the Net and Erbacce Prize nominee, is published in 108 journals in 21 countries, including in Agenda, North Dakota Quarterly, Books Ireland, About Place, Door is a Jar, Northern Gravy, Decomp, and The Tahoma Literary Review. Breen’s widely reviewed and highly praised second collection, Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín will be rereleased by Downingfield later this Summer. It follows his critically well-received debut, ‘Flowers, All Sorts, in Blossom…’ (Dreich, 2020). Twitter: @breen.