Thirst and Vigil

Oisin Breen


Sa n'áit n'ard na gaoithe
In the place of the high winds.
Here is the caught, the girdled, and exalted.
Here red runs the cup,
A heavy breathlessness turned fresh,
A tune fashioned from rasps of air.

And now a soft sullen laughter drops
from level to level,
fast, like wet fabric to erosion whittled rock:
from you to I, and back again,
hot, the movement of lips
and elation in the brushing of muscles and gluttonous skin,
where we speak in tongues,
this is all I have ever done-
In perpetuity,
Two hundred years ago today.


This is a prayer to the symbol,
The shaper of shapes,
That single thought,
One consideration above the final:


In the name of the cinder,
the ash,
and the strangulation of the air
as it falls;

in patterns,
to a halt,
in pebble hordes,
near those left-behind marks:

A spoor,
demonstrably signalling,
where we may not yet have been.

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