The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Doireann Ní Ghríofa: 2 Poems Published

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.



Rondelet on a Missing E


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”.


About the poet...

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).

Artwork by Nicola Spencer:

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