My favourite form of communication is in the beyond:
in dreams. To dream of someone.
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.
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.
In old Irish poetry, an Aisling was a dream-vision.
© Nessa O'Mahony
Loch Raven Review Winter 2005 Vol. I, No. 2
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