Conor O'Callaghan

Four Poems

The Sun King

I wanted his sky-blue Ford, its sheetrock, its transmission issues.
I listened to his low-down yodeling skimming sunk studs
and snake rattles like wind-chimes round his mantle in the hills
and parables waiting for windows to arrive where some lunchbox
was always asked what sort of lunchbox he took Roy for.
Le roi soleil.
                         It stuck, from first coming with a bucket of mud
to the day of reckoning his lady friend brought marble cake
and Roy joined hands in a ring that all lost rooms be filled
by a sun to which even the godless among us could say Amen.

Then one afternoon Leaves of Grass fell onto the laminate.
The station wagon wasn’t in the drive. The sprinklers,
for all the gilt and shadow in the street, had run dry.
My boy and girl were grown elsewhere. And somehow I,
five years east, woke in mind of an odd-job deity no heathen
need ever wake in mind of. King of sun, pray for me again.

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