‘Bathwater Love’ and other poems by Niamh Twomey

Bathwater Love

I wear you wrong;
my reasons inside-out
and love like perfume
for others to admire.

At night you draw feathers
on my Skin.
And your kisses
teach me new vowels,

but we are in bathwater.
Slowly adjusting to the cold,
soaked in Inertia,
eyes squeezed, knowing–


Song of Grendal’s Mother

They gave me no name
but ‘mother’.
Those Goldbricks in their golden hall;
I was not the Virgin Mary
of their wet dreams–
but real–
One who took an eye for an eye.

Repeal that oldest fairytale,
old as the gold you play with.
I only took what I deserved
and ran–
But there’s something of Monster
in Man.



I am now.
My blood is words
and blighted stories.
My name is mine
but borrowed,
my home is Troubled
wet soil on dry days,
and cow shit springs.
But cut me open
and you will


Family, Mine

Every family
is a sealed

open wounds,
drooping wit,

fire breathing

of cowardice
and fruit trees
I pinch you.

But we are a can
of good beans
despite it all.



After You Died
You became Enormous.
A stone in every step,
garlic on the breath.
Suddenly from every spot
bloomed a memory,
and you lived
a hundred times over
in every head
of cinnamon curls
I saw from behind.

Sometimes I followed
your bouncing curls down the street,
standing back,
willing the head not to turn
and show the face of someone else
so you would die again



Some day
I’ll have my own house

With a shelf of poetry books
by the toilet
and short stories
for those long, difficult stays

with vibrant colours
painted on the walls
every wall a different colour
like Lego

With a deep couch
that swallows bums
and snoozing cat
meditating on a warm fire

With an old phone
waiting to sing
it’s wire in tangled ringlets
coiled like angel’s hair

With oriental spices
and a box of perfumed teas
of every fruit and flower
and porridge

With a kettle always brooding
on the blistering hob
while friends take seats and I ask
do you like macaroons?

With an old dusted piano
out of tune, but crooning still
rubbed down with old underwear
draped with a doily

With space to move mountains
in idle passing thoughts
with sun waking room
through velvet curtains in the morning.

There will be space for two heads
on the cushions on my bed
and my rusting red bell
will wait there for your touch

When some day
I have my own house

bathwater Love and other poems are © Niamh Twomey

Niamh Twomey is a student of English Literature and French in University College Cork. Winner of Hotpress Magazine’s ‘Write Here Write Now‘ competition in 2016, she has since published works in journals such as ‘Quarryman’, ‘Quill & Parchment’, amongst others.

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