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                                                                                                Nessa O'Mahony




My favourite form of communication is in the beyond:
in dreams. To dream of someone.
                                       Marina Tsvetaeva

It bothered me I hadnít dreamed of you.
Nights were filled with old lovers,
ancient hurts. One time my father

took me in his arms,
asked me if Iíd met someone
I liked better than myself.

Last thing, Iíd say a prayer,
close my eyes and conjure you up,
your dear face, count my breaths

till finally I dreamed of you at dawn,
as I tossed, too restless to sleep on,
too drowsy still to blink myself awake.

I watched you from the upstairs bay,
walking from the pier,
looking up as I glanced down.

You smiled. The smile I offered back
I could feel on my lips, in the midst
of sleep, in the mist of waking

till I wasnít sure whose smile,
whose lips they were in the dark
bedroom where I sleep alone.




It could have gone either way
but the stroked cheek, the gentle caress
on this post-prandial sofa

ends in breaths slowing into sleep
as your body sags, zig-zags into my contours,
your head rests on my shoulder.

I stroke, fingers finding their pace,
not knowing the name for the tingle
in my throat, or the way my heart

struggles between beats, now soft, now fierce.
I keep a look out for predators,
unsure if my own thoughts wonít feed

on your exposed skin,
the three-veined throb
at your temple.



Family history
      Kiltimagh, 15 June 2003

A short stop en route,
a chance to find your traces in a market town
where houses are painted for some jubilee
and Aidan Street seems innocent of history
among its eateries and newsagents.

A cup of tea in my hand with the cousins,
a promise to exchange family trees,
to keep in touch by email.
Thereís a faded portrait over the piano -
I have my great grandmotherís nose,
as do the two deputised
to take the tour with me.

They point out the drapery
(now designs a la mode),
the old Walshe home -
the scene of Kackís lock-in.

Last stop the cemetery,
they show me the family gravestone
rescued from scutch grass.
I adjust my shutter speed, they pose.
I donít tell them what Iím up to Ė
some secrets canít be kept
in the family.


[1] In old Irish poetry, an Aisling was a dream-vision.




                                                                                                © Nessa O'Mahony

triple rule

Loch Raven Review Winter 2005 — Vol. I, No. 2
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