‘A Kind of Rescue’ and ‘Yes’ by Afric McGlinchey

A Kind Of Rescue

Can’t inhale any more
of his boulder-sized words,
droops, like a fox’s tail caught
in a shower of rain.
His rage has turned her upside down,
bringing out the other one,
who launches
  
like a whale leaping from the ocean,
while she disappears
into nothingness.
Later, comes to, to find herself
carried in a cradle of human arms,
panic hitting her in the throat,
bruises blooming;
 
tries to cover them, looks up
to see a corridor
of huge trees peering down,
green faces leaning.
Across the sky, a white arc
wakes the beginning of memory…
then a mighty uprush, burning;
 
his smiling mask,
finger beckoning
casually, as though talking
of the weather, or moving house,
yet
eyes fixed as poignantly
as a bridegroom waiting for his lover.
  
Arms release her at the door,
and she ducks behind it,
fragments of a hide-and-seek self
flicking into place
like a coin into a slot.
On the camber of her hips, evidence
of thumb-prints.
  
A kind of Rescue is © Afric McGlinchey

Yes

(after Molly Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses)
 
…yes and then
I touched my finger to his lips
to stroke away the cider,
and put it to mine
and our tongues went plunging
– such a lush sweetness –
the grass so springy-soft on the cliff
and the waves crashing below
and I had to catch my breath
and the night’s perfume drowned
that tang of lamb
and I thought of my first kiss
– what was his name? Johnny? – yes,
his tongue so unexpected,
wriggling like an eel,
but this time it felt different,
and even his silence didn’t matter
when he stared, stared at my breasts
and I let my hair slip loose
like that Cape Town girl,
and you have moonlight in your eyes, he said
so I took him in my hand
and he whispered, would I,
ma petite phalène, he said
and I thought I may as well,
as well him as another,
and the sea was swirling below us in a froth
the sky gorgeous with stars
and I suggested with my eyes
that he ask again
and I knew he would
and I wondered if I’d say yes
and then I urged him down
and he found his way
through all my layers
and I might, I thought, yes
I think I will
say yes.
  
Yes is © Afric McGlinchey.
First appeared in The Lucky Star Of Hidden Things, published by Salmon (2012)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfric McGlinchey’s début poetry collection, The Lucky Star Of Hidden Things was published by Salmon Poetry in 2012. She was highly commended in the Magma 2012 competition, shortlisted in the Bridport 2012 and won the Northern Liberties Poetry Prize (USA) in 2013. She won the Hennessy poetry award in 2011. Her poems have been published in Ireland, England and the States, in numerous print and online journals.

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