Katherine Duffy

3 Poems


The third mask is gone. My favourite.
How soft it was; its fleur-de-lys
pattern, snug blues on taupe,
didn’t make my skin look sallow
or grey, but rather fresh, I thought.
A cloud on my face, it blotted me
safely, as I walked past shuttered shops,
stood in queues. It held back
smiles and muttered incantations equally.
My lucky scrap, the third one I bought.
I work back in time
from the bag I carried yesterday,
my freshest jacket pockets,
to the jeans I wore last week,
the haversack I hardly ever use
but did the day I cycled along the river.
I try the dark place under the stairs,
known haunt of truant sandals, scarves,
combs. I flay the wardrobe, ransack
drawers. No joy. It’s gone
into some whorled pocket of the future
where it’ll turn up when I’m desperate
for something else entirely. I can feel it
already, flabby blue premonition on my palm.



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