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‘At the door’ and other poems by Eva Griffin

Are you feeling this?

My desire is holding you in its mouth
shaking like a dog toy
amputated to fit my mould.
Regularly, I confuse excitement for affection
in a slow, crowded elevator
where a whisper of white buttoned shirts
is the scream of a night sky in my head,
close as a shoulder brush.

Something to work with

For the work, he says.
Square panels of it
lighting up my screen:
tarp-painted abstractions
punctuated by self-capturing,
sun-faced with grey crown
but not old.
Never old.
A father’s age perhaps.
Yet, I open the message;
orange brimming notification
tells me that he’s thinking
of my shivering in bed
on the other side of the island.
Says that he’ll be good
if he gets the chance.
Good for me.
Good for his ego.
Small slip of a thing waiting
for a night visit, the hot
shower of another body
sliding under covers.
Strong tattooed grasp
on waist; leathered, but
not old.
Light breath in my ear
catches hair like a summer
breeze in his stubble.
As if we’re not in October.
As if we’ll ever be here again.
He whispers, for the work.
It’s all this is.
I am for the work.

Candle

Eyes into the fire he tells me
that he sees it,
the next painting:
chrome yellow,
petals on the floor like ash
by our feet,
heads drooping close
like ours could
be
if I hadn’t left my heart
in the dregs of a pint
soaked through, too wet to carry.
I hold it, cold glass
little sanctuary while my legs burn
bright against the flame shadow.
He notices
I keep stretching it away,
a short press against
the slick stone and back
in again to see the orange
flicker on white,
to feel the pain of stolen heat
and I wonder
will my thin calf be the painting;
warmer in his eyes,
burning under the weight of him,
untouched.

Leftovers

A jug of milk in the fridge
is what he left me;
half of his own litre
brought from town.
For the tea, we imagine, but
standing in the kitchen
brewing it strong
he feels more like ground coffee;
ember smell of him
from lighting the fire,
rough-handed from work.
Outside, rusted mountains
crease along the skyline
like his eyes, laughing now;
almost disappearing but so full,
I want to believe, of me,
and the clouds of Kerry
in that moment
they look like cream.

At the door

Now, watch as I hang in the air
tempting as a sunset
and just as long.
Storms are not inclined to wait;
better to spill my secret wilderness
as I leave this love,
sucking light out of your blue.

At the door and other poems are © Eva Griffin.

Eva Griffin is a poet living in Dublin and a UCD graduate. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Tales From the Forest, All the Sins, ImageOut Write, Three Fates, The Ogham Stone, HeadStuff, and New Binary Press.

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