Michelle O'Sullivan

Two Poems

Cut to an Echo

Indistinct, night wearies itself into day.
And dawn comes to with an early bruise lacking yellow.

A bird falters to redden its song, a snag of notes that can’t lift.
The scalded teapot brews darkly and intensely hot.

There is nothing to be done. Not now.
The kitchen and its workable parts have neared to a standstill.

You must lift the cozy to the room’s cold, to your cup.
You must pour yourself the hottest drop.


A different country, this.
No road home –

but a road back,
a place where you can put your head.

It’s all context, the heart of the matter, even if
you’re loathe to name it: the sight and no-sight of you,

face behind your hands; cinched breath,
a stone pillow wedged at your chest.


The translator posted his version of events.
An almost there account, the nearly- but- not- quite,

his words a framework for the woman who lived
inside them; every image captured through a window.

For all they said. And didn’t say.
Silhouettes on stone. On glass. On wood.

The shadow that made a question of your mouth.
The music that could be heard from another room.


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