Everywhere I Turn / True Love / Kings


Everywhere I Turn

My sister falls out of a tree
and cracks her skulls open

and the ravens swoop down and mix
omelettes out of her spilled brains
and cast their dark shadows over her split face.

My brothers form an orderly
queue to take turns putting their heads in the fire.

They take off their aprons
and their shoes and they jump in
leaving me standing here
warming my hands by the grate.

Everywhere I turn everywhere I turn.

I turn and my parents’ guts are
eaten by cancer and their flesh is loose
and without control and I am without

My cousins hang from every streetlamp
like Christmas decorations and my aunts

and my uncles are riddled with wounds
that burst open like red lilies in bloom.

I sweep up the spare parts
we don’t use anymore into a dustpan
and throw them into the bin.

Later I rifle through the waste
in silence.

My grandparents knew it would happen.
They saw it approaching on the horizon.


True Love

Pale girls
with stars in their pockets
and fold themselves into cardboard boxes
to be posted west
to become porn stars.



There are bruises
on my woman’s eyes
because she disrespected Elvis.

She told me I was going away for this one.
I said nothing and flicked on Guitar Man;
then I lit a cigarette and pointed to the seat
where she was meant to sit on occasions like this:
occasions where I felt this wretched
and this good.

At the trial
the judge twirled his moustache thoughtfully,
but he fell off his chair when he heard her repeat the filth
she had said to me.
Where he lay, his black, pointy shoes pointed to heaven
and we had to douse him with water to revive him
before he passed his sentence on me.

When we sent her to the chair
she was given no last meal
and she smelt of petrol and feral blood.
Her prison clothes were sexy as hell
and she didn’t look a day over sixteen.

I could feel myself getting hot under the collar
at the smell of her flesh,
but she knew her black eyes, weak tears
and strong words couldn’t help her here
in this nameless place, this shifting borderland,
because the King is still the King.

Oisín Fagan

Oisín Fagan (b. 1991) currently lives and works in Salou, Spain. He has been previously published in The Stinging Fly.

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