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by Oisín Breen (April 2021)
Sea with Red Sun, Emil Nolde
For all that I have forsworn that holy gabbling over root and seed and sheaf,
For all that I have said—and meant—that my only cathexis would from now on be the milk white of trailing legs—
I know what it is to feel an absence of the heart, one that the depths of laughter can not fill.
I know it is a relentless need that will not abate,
And I know I must—in the face of its storm—I know I must relent
Yet much as I can not forswear your love,
I can not avoid your censure,
For the glutting of my soul is as unavoidable as the saturation of my senses,
And I am hungry for skin brushed with skin.
Thus, since you must censure me,
Let it be in hot poison,
And let me be what I must be:
The most human of your instruments,
and the most divine.
Where the seed and stamen previously gorged on deep breaths of water,
The sacrament of need breeds a chalara,
A knot in the impulse of having.
And the forest floor lays covered,
Spread with the sinews of your stretched heart:
A canker, like a diamond
Grey wood, creeping along the bark
A dryness, and the knowledge that you are not what you once were.
Oisín Breen is a poet, part time academic in narratological complexity, and a financial journalist. Dublin born and bred, Breen spent the last decade living in Edinburgh, after a rip-roaring period that took in, amongst other things, the Middle East; a stint in a bizarre one-donkey town with excellent wine; and a total inability to properly fit a door onto a mountain. His debut collection, Flowers, all Sorts in Blossom, Figs, Berries, and Fruits, Forgotten was released last year by Hybrid press in Edinburgh (hybriddreich.co.uk).
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