The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Liz Quirke: 2 Poems Published

Poems by Liz Quirke (Ireland)

Published in The Ofi Press issue 49 


These Nights
We meet in the dead hum,
at what used to be Ryanair flight time,
when on a fiver we'd drop it all and go,
hole up in a one star room
and know only the heat of each other
for a week.
Now we pass in the hallway,
our bare feet loud against the tile,
you getting water for the newest one,
me a drink for the first.
Our love sleeps in this house,
fills the space with family
we didn't account for on those boarding cards.
And at this knee sore time
with your shoulders drooped
in tired falling,

there is a part of me waiting for you at the door,
listening close as you shuffle towards me,
one bag between us
as we leave it all behind
to explore all we have yet to see.






Today, I am a damp match.
Sulphur obscured by a film of mist.
No breeze to dry me,
restore my powers.
The damp clings still,
clammy on my clothes.
No hope of snapping to life
and razing this hell pile of tinder.
Sullen under my shrunken powers,
I wait in the nothingness
that this dampening brings.

Today, I am an empty spoon
disappointing your eager mouth,
failing to provide.
I lay heavy amid the clutter,
idle, dull and aimless,
requiring too much help
to fulfil my basic functions.
What would I heap onto myself,
load into my open heart,
carved apart, reversed,
pushed to a concave,
so you faceless few can use me.

Today, I am a bloodshot eye,
white too dry to bother
with the anointment of drops,
any cooling charity,
protection and calm from the smallest
misplaceable bottle on the shelf.
I want to wither in this barren pain,
crack and split open so not
even my swollen eyelid
can shape itself around me,
hide my true beaten form.

About the Poet

Originally from Tralee, Co. Kerry, Liz Quirke lives in Spiddal, Co Galway with her wife and daughters. Her poetry has appeared in various publications, including New Irish Writing in the The Irish Times, Southword, Crannóg, The Stony Thursday Book and Eyewear Publishing's The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016. She was the winner of the 2015 Poems for Patience competition and in the last few years has been shortlisted for the Cúirt New Writing Prize and a Hennessy Literary Award. Her debut collection "Biology of Mothering" will be published by Salmon Poetry in Spring 2018.

Image: "Damp" by Edward Morgan.