A Junkyard Full of Flowers
As she fumbled with the buttons of her jeans
the musk
………….of her warmth
rose from the swan of her neck
and mixed with the fog-wet
………….of the cold alley wall.
The streetlight, covered in a speckled veil of drizzle,
flooded the alley
………….in aquarium-blue light.
The muddy puddles we had just splashed through
settled back
………….into stillness –
tapered with petroleum rainbows, as smooth as her silk eyes –
they lay on the concrete
………….gaping up like apertures,
photographing the wild moonlight and recording it
into the scriptures
………….of riverbed churches.
In her husky voice I heard the rumbling of mad oceans
and I saw stars and trembling bridges
………….walk frail light
to the ledges of the visions beyond the woodland path
as it turns through the forest
………….and out of sight.
A car swerved into view. In its headlight,
the cloudy mirage of her breath
………….lit up in the air,
leaving the rose of its afterimage hanging there
until the car drove on
………….and the darkness snatched it –
its grip pressing out the illuminated perfume
from the wrung blossom
………….which spread through the blue alley,
leaving, in place of the strewn cast-offs,
a junkyard
………….full of flowers.
Source: NÚMERO CINQ
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Paul McMahon lives in Cork. His debut poetry chapbook, Bourdon, is being published this November by Southword Editions. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Threepenny ReviewThe Stinging FlyAtlanta ReviewThe Salt Anthology of New WritingThe Montreal International Poetry Prize Global AnthologyAgendaThe MothThe Irish TimesSouthwordAmbit, and others. His poetry has also been broadcast on RTE Radio. He has won a number of prizes for poetry including The Keats-Shelley, The Ballymaloe International, The Nottingham, The Westport, The Golden Pen, second prize in both The Basil Bunting and in The Salt International Poetry Prize, and Arts Bursary awards, for poetry, from both The Arts Council of Ireland, and The Arts Council of N. Ireland.