Poems by Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Ireland)
Published in Issue 33 of The Ofi Press.
I covet her cockroach corset.
It gleams black in my dreams
like dark ink against my skin. Awakening,
I thirst for that boned black thorax,
the cold embrace of the shell,
formidable. I would keep it hidden
under gowns of taffeta, crinoline, silk.
Beneath, I’d feel the bindings harden:
dense, firm, impenetrable.
I yearn for that corset, so taut, so tough,
to squeeze my ribs until my breath
comes short and shallow,
so tight that I could barely feel
my poor heart beat, so tight that I could forget
its soft rooms, its leaking wounds.
There may be wings folded within those dark plates
transparent and thin — a flight to freedom.
So, should she succumb to her vials
of violet and scarlet opiates,
should she wish to leave me an inheritance,
do tell her how I love it.
Tell her that her cockroach corset is all I covet.
Like, I was her
best friend. She was mine. Twin vandals,
like? I was her
lookout. We scrawled walls together,
keyed cars, broke hearts, started scandals…
til Sir caught us and left the wall
like “I woz her”.
Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s poems have appeared in literary journals in Ireland and internationally. Her Irish language collections Résheoid and Dúlasair are both published by Coiscéim. The Arts Council of Ireland has twice awarded her literature bursaries (2011 and 2013). In 2012, she was a winner of Wigtown Gaelic poetry contest— the Scottish National Poetry Prize. Her short collection of poems in English Ouroboros was recently longlisted for The Venture Award (UK). www.doireannnighriofa.com
Artwork by Nicola Spencer: http://www.alicebluedesigns.co.uk/