‘Mangoes are a night food’ and other poems by Finnuala Simpson


A candied calligraphy of colours, I said
that I would change the sheets later.
And I said also that I could handle it but I could not, and will I fry for that?
I may, but only if you return.

The stink of sheep hangs on me like wisdom.
You leave in a blur and your bag is heavy with spices,
I hope I do not let you back again.
It depends on my resolve, and on whether the seasons let me float.

I’ll take myself running for the friction of denial,
cross my legs under the tables of the library.
I’ll spin yarns and wear black and eat fruit in the evenings,
till I’m taller and more thoughtful than I have been before.

And I’ll try harder, too.
Kindness is like witchcraft, it must be brewed and stirred,
mulled over in secret with the herb scent of the night.
If it threatens to drown you, you must set yourself on fire.

Do you think of me? Or am I a stop-gap to you?
I marveled at you on the phone when you were talking like a man,
Not laughing or stroking like you laugh and stroke at me.
Talking figures like your car was a woman,
You said fuck it we will fix the white van instead
For by the time the summer comes you will be traveling.

I changed my sheets and they were smeared
sprinkled with both blood and mould.
But washed away now, and quietly, while you are asleep and going south.



God’s the opposite of sentient,
God’s gotta lot on their plate right now
You hate phone calls but you rang rang rang rang rang rang
Kinda like the knock knock don’t stop of the old stories about Jesus and the hearts.

I sit in a pub like the underground volts of mole town with glistening mirrors and brown
And think: and think: and think :
What if I AM us
What if we ARE me

Amen. That boy gets bloody sleepy-eyed and ties you down with internet rope to have the best time,
you can still be held by the every-man compass of inner direction and salt.

Lake licking
I’d be down for some
front door seconds

I love overhand
and crying boys
and absolute disgraces
and civil war tales make me puke
because we are you and I am us and they are
Jesus Christ and the cherubim all interconnected with stones and pencils and lust


Frown Upon Me

When winter falls out I cheer up
Semi-automatic pistol you grip and
It’s like
Put that down honey I’m
Just in league with the bears you know
Don’t be afraid
Just because I am socialist without understanding politics
Just because I say this is how I FEEL out loud loud
And you don’t do anything out loud loud
You say: I am bad at words
You won’t kiss me goodbye in the street
You’re a removable boy access unacceptable
When the moon looms
When your blood is flat
When you are sober
~ Biggest mood: you not letting go of my hand drunk


Mangoes are a night food

I unfurl a peach strip of self denial,
curling tendrils like the mannerisms that
wind me in a high spiral,
each time I sleep I see extensions of my worst trade-offs
and subtle lingering traces of worn out faces and fading tastes.

I see the way your limbs are positioned, they are unsure of
holding company with the air (and really baby I feel that)
yellow soft flesh without a skin and a concrete world he sings
that you stand in hallways thinking about the positioning
of your feet, and the happiness of our lives
was only coming.

I do indeed know the strangest of manifestations,
I do certainly keep company with the eeriest of loves.
Boys can surely contract themselves into small spaces,
the gaps in my brain are of the overly hospitable young.

I held onto him in our old bed and tightly traced
the profile graced with the ability that I gave him
his eyes were closed to look more firmly at the wall
he knew my heart was at his back
he may have held my hand but he did not.
I let love drop from my ears my eyes my tear ducts
Is forever I think)
I held him and said, I wish you well I wish you well I wish you
you hurt me so much
I wish you well I wish you well I wish you everything you can get nobly
I love you
Even as I fall for a better boy
I love you
He took my love in mime
Stayed curled-up, inaccessible and pure
In the dream my sister woke me with her heart at my back
She never touched me
I never touched him
I think that real love is forever
Mango is a night food.


No Chill Kids

I’m sweeping
cold callers collect thoughts and manic and deathly
are you grossed out by sad?
I’m the icky girl no chill just spooky abandon to the rhythmic pulse
gymnastics of feeling floods
like crying toilets drunk
maybe we’ll get cool again I’ll put weed on the balcony
I need a lamp to grow me a glo-up
half streaming
live rot

Well I take photos of lights to hold them in my wet hand cracks
Told her there were two of me that’s a lie there are a million and one
me things
Shakespeare was a matching addict holy hell that quill quick quick good god
give me some Adderall
but I’d only focus on the wrong thing

Drunk dial
Low capped smile
I’d get off at the next stop but he’s gonna miss it
while mentally I put myself down the stairs bang bang
The street slush don’t stop us
Every fucking night I get shot at in my dreams I’m not joking
Last night it was my grandfather
There’s fingers and there’s whingers but I barely kiss gingers
Someone threaded their headphones through their jumper strings
What a strange little hullabaloo
I could do better if I were you
Because I’m a neat-freak never-speak who clean eats
I’ll go far

Mad girls and sad girls might be onto something
I’m crying holla holla wake up at the stars looking down on this shit attack
Honestly get me out asap
I’ll sail space smooth and I won’t look back
But my bones are hollow they don’t ever crack

I see faces places and wastes but I am the one standing on a hill and
Pencey Prep is real as all hell
that is, not very, dubiously transient and flickering like the flame of
a secret place that never cleans itself so sleep me now


Mangoes are a night food and other poems are © Finnuala Simpson

Finnuala Simpson is a twenty-year-old english and history student based in West Cork. In her free time she likes to write, cook, and walk as close to the sea as she can get.

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