Two Poems

Conor O’Callaghan

The Narrator,

during the break in chapter,
gets up to stretch beneath a skylight
and hears seagulls, small girls running.
So many pages since he listened last
that he can’t recall how it came to this
or which wall the door was on
or even now what time of year it is.
Are his own pauses, he wants to ask aloud,
captivating another, when an absent-minded
‘Where was I?’ echoes through
and he returns to the place that you left off.

Shanty

The ditty from home
where a low sound greys
in heat like barcode and sky
recedes beneath its fold
I flicked across three provinces
inland of any shore
and have since turned back on
with chorus enough to keep
the memory of a squeezebox company
and aerials like dandelion seed from the mouth
of one crossing to many
and many ends hummed
where verses thunder scattered would have fallen
so long
the phrases don’t recall if they are
warm or half
measures become a whole
new frequency: the carriage lights of an island
stopped in black or a swell
between passing cars
there and there again
the air as yet unsung.