субота, 05. март 2011.

Hilda Sheehan

Hilda Sheehan

The House That Died

One day, our house stopped breathing.
A passer-by noticed it going blue
as noise escaped from an open window:
there was a gasp, then a choke.

Normal people came out from their breathing homes to help –
patted it on the back, made suggestions:

"Cut the hedge down, tidy the garden,
weed it, scrape it, paint it a brilliant white –
don’t walk on the grass for God’s sake!"

"Punch it in the chest, electrocute it, stick
a knife in its throat – insert a straw, then blow."

Nothing helped, our house died.
The council pronounced it dead in its corner plot.

"Sorry, it just gave up the will to be a home."

How it suffered – tried so hard to breathe,
make space, be tidy, stylish, organised –
look nice like other houses on the street.

It went stiff and black quite quickly;
flesh fell from its frame like bricks
toppling off a tall building.

In the silence of our grief, we chased flies off its back,
left the bones for all to see:
no funeral though.

The Seal

Sometimes, the seal from next door
borrows my bathtub to loll in cool water.
He says, there's nowhere left to get wet
and lets himself in with the key I leave in a dried up sea
under broken corrugated coral.

When I get home, I close the mouth of the loo;
sit and watch him swish this way and that.
His fat, wet behind rises up and down
like a barren island in a storm,

sending waves to me –
the kind that make you want to club the wicked,
or throw a fish.

Later, when only his head can be seen,
we talk in ripples that circle him;
silence our lost worlds.

I don’t know why he comes, it’s not as if we're lovers:
he’s a seal, and I just live here.

Night Calls

bellow the ocean call
gifts of night
want an eye of flesh
right now
fantasies silt in body
food of ovary eternity rests above
clots garbage
trickle saliva soaked thigh
a hog snuff search and scent
snog rough shapes a double bed