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Mary O'Donnell, from The Ark Builders

Mess of Our Lives

This summer there are two states — rain and non-rain.
Above banked clouds, jets stream west, south.
Night and day the scream of engines.
So low the cloud, helicopters are invisible
within a moisture mass, the not-yet-fallen.
Rooftops are opaque, that blade-sharp line
of lamp-black, against unforgiving blue,
absent.

Clammy, we dance in pubs near the river,
spill onto footpaths, stagger
along the estuary towards electric dawns.
Sailors move out from the heaving warrens
they have graced for brief days. Our loneliness
mounts. When we tuck up together, it is
[no stanza break]
not enough, you behind me, your strong fingers,
that curved thumb around my ribs, my mottled
skirt rising, neither of us bothering
to undress. Oblivion, retreat from wondering:
how to pass hours, minutes when we cannot see
roofs, when helicopters have disappeared,
and swallows fly so low some slip
through the hot grilles of cars discharging
from bridges at evening.

Last night was full moon, invisible of course.
I tugged the blind and gazed at the river,
sensing sludge. I imagined a ghostly
filly on the water, hooves by-stepping
the mess, perturbed as poetry,
made in all weathers.
I'd say it's a sign.
Of something. Somewhere.
D ' fuck? you grumbled as I shook you awake.
D ' fuck ya doin?