Aoife is an Irish poet and writer based in London. Her chapbook 'The
Trick Of Foreign Words' is available from www.tall-lighthouse.co.uk and
her first novel is due to be published by The Xpress in 2004 (www.xpress.co.uk)
"When I was eleven years old my family moved from Dublin to New York.
I think it was the shock of all those big buildings, suddenly discovering
that I had an unpronounceable name and a funny accent, that got me writing.
I used to scribble down things while listening to the radio until my
mother insisted on reading some of it and informed me this was poetry.
She bought me a beautiful hard back notebook from Barnes & Nobles bookstore
to copy them out neatly into and so began a lifelong obsession with words
and stationary. She also took me to hear Seamus Heaney reading his work.
I was only a kid but listening to him I thought so it's not only music
that takes all the heartache and pain in the world and turns it into
by aoife mannix
The train rolls out of the station,
the wheels whispering goodbye,
the murmurings of different languages.
I press my face against the cold of the glass,
drink the passing streetlights,
the cube windows of city lives,
the rattle of Sunday evenings
after the golden light has seeped from the afternoon.
The first blue of spring waking up smiles, stirring old loves,
the music we used to dance to.
I sway with the wine to see if we still have that rhythm.
Once a long time ago I was here under fireworks.
We find the street you're looking for,
and just as we arrive, there's a small table free in the sun.
We order beer and pancakes, watch the beautiful people passing,
this before the war feeling.
You take my hand and promise to come back,
every drink a snapshot of nostalgia.
We hurry back and dive into bed.
I kiss you as the seconds fall around us,
it scares me how I understand why you're leaving,
that this story isn't written by either of us.
You are so small and so perfect, so infinitely precious,
and I worry you don't realise it.
The years swirl over our heads,
and the waiter offers to take a photograph.
In that flash, I hurry for the train,
see the curve of your back, a staircase naked and exposed,
I walk down the steps, turn to hear you laughing,
a pigeon sweeping past, his wings brushing your cheek,
the lightest of feather touches,
and all the tiny forevers of my love,
the terrible aching fear that I will lose you.
copyright © 2003, aoife mannix