Author | Stephen Byrne

Easy now lad, 
stir that tea with conviction.

We’ve got all night you know.

It’s ok, 
your neighbour is use to doors slamming
& footsteps down the hall.

Sure, if they complain, show them your skull collection
or missing teeth.

That’s just the way it goes my friend, one
love fills the air in abundance

& the next, 
well, you know
the clock screams
& your knees snap
as you collapse to the ground
to pray to a god you don’t believe in.

Get up, c’mon, up
tip that ceiling with your chin
we’ve got legs to rebuild & trauma
to crush with our hands –

you’re made of iron & earth my friend,
show the world.

See that crow outside in the rain,
two-fucks it gives in the wetness
& look how it bobs its head
in disbelief at your state.

She’s gone. 

& the clock still screams & the rain pours
& the room
this room, still shivers from that door slam.

It’s going to be a long year my friend.
Let’s buy new shoes to dance in.

About the Author | Stephen Byrne is an Irish chef and writer currently living in Chicago. His first collection ‘Somewhere but not Here’ won the RL Poetry Award, 2016 International category. He has been published worldwide in places such as Warscapes, Indian Review, Tuck Magazine, Poets Reading the News, Rise Up Review, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology and many others. He is the food writer for ‘This is Galway’ website.

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