Berfrois

Three Poems by Eva Griffin

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eating girls backwards

wet tides deathly lapping
them from drunken earth her bed
now a river her body
a dumb wife to water
hair to sodden tea
leaf too bitter to tongue
keeping air at arm’s length
like a tulip stretching from
your aunt’s bouquet
the colour of a cold room
when you’re done with your body
consider mine a hiding
place my name your breath
this suicide a mistake I hold
in my hand to keep warm
your premature death nothing
but a myth of gesture
and the bath just a bath – the sweet
ocean of another day lived
through and this night is you
dancing like your mother
resolving to a pill
sliding down your throat opening
to catch your heart in a safety
net of serotonin
a kind of freedom from yourself
a release that might do
for now
welcome
the chance to see stars and
sit still for sun up
your hair   freshly towelled
the bath    draining

 

Soko sucking on Kristen’s fingers, 2016

Hands on the window she
wears the red like a challenge
all dotted up in the parking lot.
I hadn’t washed my hair that morning just
tussled it on my way out to meet her
curls wet, tucked neat
into a baseball cap.
I can’t even see her eyes,
my own face in the frames
suspended there between
smoke breaks and grease.
When she takes my finger in her
mouth it feels like I’m being fed,
I hold her tight by the nail
of my thumb and let her wash
over me pink. Cheeks fill fast
counting the white polka dots
on her blouse until it all blurs or
turns into my open mouth or
the sun disc of my reflection or
all the buttons I’ve ever undone or
her becoming the endless pattern or
her in the doorway of our bedroom or
thick cream left in the fridge to spoil or
skin left wrinkling in the bath or
the towel peeled open, discarded or
fresh sheets screaming on the floor or
her small breasts hanging over me or
a second of breath before laughter or
sitting on the edge of the mattress afterwards
bridle roses unfurling from my chest
the vines whispering hello I love
you is it enough to make time slow
down until we are just this:
committed onto canvas
messy, half-asleep, sitting in my car and
reaching.

 

A little lighter

At the end of each summer in bed
I rise with my shirt on backwards;
buttons split down my spine.

A special alien in navy blue
unused to the ritual of redressing,
I remember

how I tumbled into you at the beginning
looking for myself
and coming out the other end with only

my little fingers to hold together
the parts I had tried to lose.

 


About the Author:

Eva Griffin is a poet living in Dublin, poetry editor at Queen Mob’s Tea House and a founding member of Not4U Collective. Her work has been published in Poethead, The Ogham Stone, Ghost City Review, HeadStuff, Peach Magazine, and Abriged. Her debut pamphlet ‘Fake Hands / Real Flowers’ is forthcoming in January 2020 from Broken Sleep Books.

Cover image by Delphine Queme via Flickr (cc).