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Image from Little Fin and the White Lie, 2009

Image from Little Fin and the White Lie, 2009

It’s 2:00 a.m.
I’ve had another boundary
dispute with my budding writer
neighbour who feels sorry for
anyone who isn’t as pretty as he;
you answer on the second ring,
pretending you don’t know it’s me
before I can apologize you mumble
that the bed is warm and nothing short
of nuclear disaster will induce you to get
up, but if I’m in a mood to vapourize,
the key’s beneath the mat.


A half drunk bottle
(bottle’s drunk, not me)
of Writers Tears* in the front
seat beside me, tail light needs
fixing, I’m working on a poem
for the cop who stops me.

How many laws
were you planning to
break tonight, Ma’am?
Fewer than yesterday, Officer.
I’m a writer—no, not starving,
far from it, and I’ve a hot date with
a novelist. They have more staying
power, did you know that?

He doesn’t get the joke, but
he lets me off with a warning so
I hand him the ghazal scribbled on
a zesty Baja Subway wrapper.
Bring this home to your significant
other; it’ll pave what needs paving.


We’ve had our first quick
fix of each other mouth
to mouth, direct and alternating
currents flowing smooth, my head
rests on your Persian carpet belly
while we talk about the Beats
and why the poets with vaginas
in the 50s were short-shrifted and
you shift your weight to take me
in a headboard-clawing A-frame
pose and Irish tears—no, make that
French & Flemish, fuck the DNA—
the whole damn lot of us are smiling!


I think we fell asleep, I wake
to find you reading my new chapters
with an Itty Bitty Book Light, and I
reach for you know where
but you keep reading.

I sit up to watch your hazel
eyes, their optic nerves affixed
sweet grazing cross the pages that
I’ve fought stupidities in excess
to achieve.

The pages brought me
you; I know that now;
I knew they would.

I tiptoe naked from your bed,
it hums irradiant, to pour us each
a linger-fingering of whiskey and
the moon decides in that cool moment
to appear, her busty lusting gibbous
self, no mincing sisterhoods, no fake
gratuities, just you and me and her,
my words writ huge, our story,
sucking nymphettes through a straw.


* “Uisce beata” in the old tongue. Doesn’t that just make you want to drink it with a Dubliner?

© Elaine Stirling, 2012