ALICIA BYRNE KEANE
ALICIA BYRNE KEANE
Once the taxi’s neon curve
had left me I started thinking
I have only
known them from their ghost,
the breath of a sugar-bracelet.
a season eaten away to its
a rain-shower undoing itself
& I believe for a short while
have a h in them,
I forget which year
we met & which year things
the months clack
together somewhere dark &
safe, toy planets ringed
It happened where night meets glass:
we didn’t notice the wreckage, at first, until
it became our teeth, gathered as condensation
on the abrupt space of the windowsill.
This silence seemed so far from wind-whip,
waited in runnels the hue of dirty snowmelt.
I furled all my poems at the bed’s end, preparing.
That distance, between words and encroaching salt,
led me to sleep at first. I thought of an article I’d read:
excrement on Everest, gaudy shapes of oxygen tanks.
Things have a way of showing up later, straight
from the glacier’s mouth. Back to my writings.
I had put them in a very small building, did I say that?
It had the shuttered look of bad offices, prefab-like,
stood about four feet high near the wardrobe.
I could see it without my glasses, check on it
though the night if I needed to, stilling nose-tip
at the window. I woke at 5am to find it swallowed,
of course, no sopped remnant & no helplines open.
What would you do if your house was there burning,
and you could see the pinpricked departure of it all
from the sky? And nobody was awake? Embarrassing
how much I cared: this year has just taken and taken.
It strains the visual memory, making these lists,
watching the boughs outside glitch and resolve.
Alicia Byrne Keane is an IRC-funded final year PhD student at Trinity College Dublin. Alicia’s poetry has been published in The Moth, The Colorado Review, The Cardiff Review, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Banshee, Abridged, and the Honest Ulsterman; forthcoming work will be featured in The Scores. Alicia’s poem “surface audience” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize; the poem “Cloud / land arc” was nominated for the Orison Anthology