Caoimhe McKeogh


sleepless   curve
into through
soft sheets squashed limbs
find a cool bit of pillow
it’s blue between clouds
thumb-stroke shows                awake
take       longer blinks
kiss throat
make breath hot           against eyes
all skin can’t touch all skin
hold shoulders           knot together
roll forwards
into day


That was the Summer that Rebecca decided death was the most beautiful art of all. It started with a giant crab that she found washed up on the beach in Waiheke, and wrapped up carefully to take home with her. Next was a baby bird that had fallen from its nest far too soon, purple skinned and featherless and strange. Another bird, this one with feathers, splayed out the way it was left by somebody's bumper, its eyes open. She caught a monarch butterfly and kept it in a jam jar until it stopped fluttering about. She bought a bone on the internet that was apparently from the thigh of a golden retriever. She found a pig's snout in a bag of leftovers for dogs at the butcher, defrosted it and tried to dry it out, but only made it smell more rotten. She laid each of these things on its own grey canvas and set them out on a table, this was her final exhibition for the year. People came and looked at them and said that she was right, these things were very beautiful. A few days into the exhibition, ants appeared in the hall overnight and covered Rebecca's artworks. She sprayed them with fly spray and left them there. She said she wished she'd thought of that herself — it really added something.

Caoimhe McKeogh lives in Wellington, New Zealand, and works in community disability support. She is currently working on a novel with the assistance of a New Zealand Society of Authors Mentorship, and has been previously published in The Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, and Landfall, Headland and Brief literary journals.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home