Be/ cause

Nidhi Zak/ Aria Eipe

because nothing is like anything
              else, an approximation will always break
                            down when you need it most

because nothing is as soft as a horse’s muzzle
               at the curve, above quiet punctuations of hair,
                           thin pointed teeth guarding tenderness

because I had just been, that morning,
               at my college graduation – looking gorgeous
                            in that dress – where the speaker urged:

I hope you will be vulnerable
                with each other, that you will be open
                             to giving and receiving vulnerability

because he touched me without asking
               saying: you are like nothing
                             I have ever seen before

like how I am touching this horse
              feeling its likenothingelse before, us
                          two silken manes, two hurt mouths

I am so gentle with you between my hands
               but tell me / strike my face / pull away
                           do you not want me to

blow slow into the open black
             tunnel of flared nostril, wet
                        dark animal breathing back

that’s how they kiss – a passing
            stablehand spoke in my direction –
                         and I believed him

                                                                                       I believed him
                                                                  not / because it was true
                                                                  but / because I wanted to

Page 56, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 128
Issue 128

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 128:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Poetry Ireland Review 128, edited by Eavan Boland, is full of strong poems and strong opinions. The issue features a total of 61 poets, including new work from Moya Cannon, Ciaran Carson, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Andrew Rahal, Rachael Hegarty, Eoin Rogers, Liz Quirke, and Featured Poet Caitlin Newby. There's an article on Seamus Heaney, excerpted from Minor Monuments, Ian Maleney's masterly book of essays; and, in the first in a series of dips into the PIR archives, Paula Meehan's still-timely essay on her time as Writing Fellow in Residence at TCD is reprinted from PIR  36  (1992).

Books reviewed include new work from Jessica Traynor, Michael Coady, John Liddy, Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Anne Tannam, Gail McConnell, 
Cathal Ó Searcaigh, Michael Hofmann, and Harry Clifton, along with 17 other titles. Ann Quinn provides the eloquent cover and artwork for Poetry Ireland Review 128, now available to order online as a single issue or on subscription.