Aoife Mulvey is a writer from Co. Longford. She graduated with a B.A in English and Sociology and Political science from National University of Ireland Galway. She currently resides in Galway and is undertaking a Masters in Writing. If you wish to check out her other works under the alias Alice McQueen you can visit her blog here at http://alicemcqueenwriting.blogspot.ie/
The Place that I call Home
Sometimes I dream of dark and hollow lands
in the hours between dusk and dawn
and of a house I once abandoned
in the company of spiders
and of a beast,
tall and green,
lurking in the shadows.
I thrash and writhe against my sheets
as it crawls towards me
with snarled teeth and hooked claws,
a frightful sight indeed.
So I run,
until my lungs explode and choke me.
But the ground never moves beneath me.
And the wicked beast always captures me
in it’s vice-like grip
and drags me to the sea
and drowns me in a whirl of memories.
But now that I am in my summer
these visions do not startle me
or wake me from my slumber.
Now I can lie and wave as those glimpses of a life pass by me,
fixed in time,
like grains of sand in an antique watch.
And now I can confront that beast
and pet it on the head
for it can be so placid,
on a leash,
left to its own devices.
It is a pitiful sight,
unarmed and drooling,
peering through the window of my dreams.
But sometimes I let my dreams ensnare me
and for a moment we become one:
the darkness, beast and me.
But in my waking
I know that we will never be
together as one.
Because they will not consume me
and I will not drown in that lonely sea
for I have already conquered these dark and hollow lands.
To Never Staying Young
I never knew why he needed such a big bed
but now I know
that no other bed was big enough
to contain his
He drank nearly as much as a fish that night,
slurping aged whiskey from a crystal decanter
and choking us
with tar-laced fumes.
I don’t know what he said to you
in that gigantic room
with the mahogany dresser and the bone comb set,
because all I heard was muffled voices
and the crash of glass on concrete.
Such loutish, unruly sounds.
I know you cried that night
when you thought you were alone.
But I was there
waiting in the darkness,
wiping my tears on a curtain’s hem.
Your eyes had always scared the monsters from under my bed
but you couldn’t keep them from your own.
And I grew up in that moment
because my world grew dark
in the absence of your light.
I was born in the wrong skin.
Started off too loose,
too comfortable for me
So they took me back and ripped my seams
and stitched me up again.
But now it shrinks around me
when I sweat, or cry
Then that one time I popped a seam
and everything spilled from me.
So you plucked a patch of your own cells,
and said the change would do me good,
said it would fit me perfectly.
So I stitched the pieces to myself
and it worked,
for a while,
until your life grew dull to me
and I ventured beyond the limits of your skin.
Thought maybe it was my own fault,
that I was too bold with the liberties you granted me,
that I had it coming really,
the name-calling, the humiliation,
the violence towards me.
Maybe I should have just lived as I was told to,
seek the life I was supposed to,
not stray the way my tattered shrunken skin wanted to.
Now I know
your skin’s not meant for me.
Once it might have,
before you told me my skin was wrong
and they had it cut away from me.
Now this skin’s too tattered to be fixed
and I must hide myself away,
hide the scars, the jutting bones and arteries
so I don’t scare people in the streets
with the damage that was done to me.
This world of yours is too small
for guys like me with patchwork skin
to ease through and carry on.
Because there is nothing wrong with me.
I know this skin of mine is torn
and it will wound and scab with time
and rot away from me
but it’s the skin you gave to me.
So go ahead,
hang me by the toes
until my nostrils bleed.
Sentence me to hard labour
until it drives me Wilde,
because this skin of mine will never stretch
to fit my bones more delicately,
but it will hold me together in fleshy stitches
while yours itches and burns.
Just because you patched this skin once
doesn’t make it yours
to do with as you please,
because your skin fits so ‘perfectly’.