We can breathe with ease poetry into the
sundry shades of red burning in
the skies over Gaza, perhaps likening
them to a pomegranate ripped open.
Ripe to write, I can’t.
I can only watch as you sleep, Inma,
naked and foetal as you face the window.
And this womb of Connemara sky has
pulled for us its awning of stars high
above the specter of the Bens and down
to Cromwell Sound.
This sky is the Atlantic’s appointment
and knows nothing of a night bombing.
It knows nothing of the upturned eyes
beneath, tearing its torso with fear.
It does not know that you are sleeping.
And I am no longer the writer of
footballs and broken windows.
I am not the cartographer of guilt.
Tonight I am the prudent recluse,
the Bog Man returning to the bog,
the wind that need not wake you.
Neil McCarthy is an Irish poet based in California. His work has appeared in The New York Quarterly, Grim Magazine and The Dalhousie Review, as well as in other journals in Australia, Ireland, Germany, the UK and Hungary.