Here in the Indian foothills,
I share a house with a man from Greece
who speaks no English perfectly,
disappears for days on a motorbike,
leaves his laundry on the low makeshift line,
grieving an absent sun.
Side by side they hang: his shirt, my summer dress
as if they know each other well
and when he returns, smelling of engine oil,
monsoon, rolled brown cigarettes,
we have no formal language,
to share our separate joy.
Drip-drip on the balcony,
a queer, white pool gathers below.
He holds at a sleeve, looks to sky.
I open my palm for signs of rain.
© Annemarie Ni Churreáin
Picture 10501973, gouache on paper, 19th century, image copyright Mary Evans / Ashmolean Museum
Annemarie Ni Churreáin is a poet from the north-west Gaeltacht of Ireland. Her publications include Bloodroot (Doire Press, 2017) and Town (The Salvage Press, 2018). Her work has been shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award for best first collection in Ireland and for the 2018 Julie Suk Award in the USA. She has been awarded literary fellowships by Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany and The Jack Kerouac House of Orlando. She is a recipient of the Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council and a co-recipient of the inaugural Markievicz Award. She was a 2020 Artist in Residence at Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris. In 2021 her second full-length poetry collection is forthcoming with The Gallery Press. studiotwentyfive.com