Understanding Possession

Louise G. Cole
Whenever I see red, you are across the room
back turned to me, sycophantic wannabes 
hanging on your every word, siren souls
flirting, offering such wit, charm, good looks, 
expensive gifts, as if any of that matters to you.
I know it shouldn’t, it shouldn’t, it shouldn’t turn 
your head, but I long for it to be me alone to hold
your gaze, keep private those secret things said 
and done, deep places explored in the soft, 
sticky hours before dawn, colour-drenched kicks
they’ll never know of, only speculating when hints 
of me float from your paintings, serenades, poems.
They might wonder at the muse who conjures
stripes of turquoise, crushed ochre, taupe, 
flings them sky high, a flock of little birds to mark
a shocking summer outburst when red poppies
snagged my vision, and I raged against sharing you,
shook out my hurt, broadcast it from high places.
Page 88, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124
Issue 124

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Poetry Ireland Review 124 contains new poems from Paula Meehan, Ciarán O'Rourke, Lizzy Nichols, Mark Ward, Gabriel Rosenstock, Özgecan Kesici, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and many other compelling voices. Also included is Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin's remembrance of her Cork childhood, excerpted from The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space, a book of essays reviewed in issue 124 by Caitríona O'Reilly. Other books considered in this issue include collections from Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Mark Granier, Tara Bergin, The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, and the Collected Poems of the late Dennis O'Driscoll, and there's also a short interview with Thomas Kinsella along with an essay on Kinsella as poet and civil servant. Another Kinsella is this issue’s Featured Poet, Alice Kinsella, and all artwork for the issue is supplied by artists associated with the Olivier Cornet Gallery on Great Denmark Street, around the corner from Poetry Ireland.

Available now to purchase online or in all good bookstores.