Good Friday 2021
the 23rd anniversary of the 1998 Agreement ending decades of conflict in Northern Ireland
City lights combat the stars on a black battleground,
lit red at every edge. My thumb rifles stories
on-screen, scrolling past pictures of armoured cars,
riot police, and balaclava-clad.
Appeal for calm. Refresh.
Stay in your homes. Refresh.
Youths throwing stones. Refresh.
Car ablaze. Refresh.
Bottles, bricks, petrol bombs.
I tease a thread of skin from my bit lip and hang
my eyes on the moon instead. A bone shaving
if it’s waxing or waning.
I am a flesh memory of tired transgressions
skin and bone description of one sin.
inside a story I bury myself
by the tide. body of sand thick up to
the neck, a would-be funeral dress of
dirt. lips split open on the salted wind,
carved white arms, as roots, hang still. each
foot a husk of travel beside its twin.
then I rise
reverse the sunset as I ignite:
dream-lit, calling no one
to my side.
how I die
folds into the hushed horizon.
each innocent wrist plays a
gentle drum, softly asking
me to turn
consuming a sickness
the way a flame breathes:
eating the air just to burn.