“For Us, Fragile Things” and other poems by Aishling Heffernan

Your Silence.

I have kept this brand of violence in my heart,
A broken strange sort of shard,
That is unrelentingly hard,
That is as pale as western sunlight,
Covered by western clouds.
Painting your house,
In strange colours
For my eyes to digest –
Quiet memories,
Of your strangely coloured pain.

It was silent,
this pain.
But it breathed lullabies and simple lies
into my defensive warring mind.
When your strangely coloured pain,
entered me, and it tasted strange,
I decided then to again, and again, and again
create words to voice the silence
that took the power of your pen.
Because I could not paint the colours of your
strangely coloured pain –
I had no conscious way, then.
Because silence has no colour,
And no recourse but to regain,
its strange brand of violence,
that shakes colour from the world,
and the voice from your pen.

What a surprise it was,
years later,
to see the Eastern sky burst to life,
when I was too old
for circumstance to matter.


Moment of Infinity.

The scent of us
is wasted on cheap sheets.
Across the pulling of my waist
I can feel the wasting of our heat.
Glints of rain scatter across my nearly
shuttered eyes,
I want to stay awake to soothe you,
and find myself surrendering to the scent and feel
of you instead.
You soothe me, instead.
There’s a melody you’re humming, or maybe it’s me,
your feet tap, while I sing,
and hold the back of your neck in the palm of my hand
as the air between us tingles.

The blending of us, is so many colours.

These moments are like lullabies that soothe something sore.
Something I closed a door on.
These moments, where our hearts beat and dimples show,
then recede, as something a little more serious
begins to appear. Heartbeats fall, dropping slowly in the night air,
air that can’t even touch us here.

You know, I loved being cold around you.

I could feel a warmth that had nothing to do with temperature –
it had weight and mass, and beauty to it.
It was this heat in some small way,
That was our moment of infinity.


For Us, Fragile Things.

I still hold the anger sometimes,
just below my ribs.
It seeps there, like liquid bone, and
runs up.
It coats my shoulder blades and I –

I hunch under its weight,
and wish I could drag it out.
But it seems fused to my midsection,
this mistake that seemed to be
the ultimate misdirection.

I’m reminded of smoking with you –
on summer days that were too hot,
the smoke hit my tongue where your tongue
could not.

When solid things seemed to shift and sway,
My heart became untethered,
As yours flew away.
And there we left each other –
In that desert we called

It was
Silly things – or maybe not.
Eating dinner without me,
Not pulling out the other side of the table –
More interest in video games …
– but then, I don’t blame you.
I willingly gave up the keys to my life.
I closed the lock and shut the door,
in case any monsters wandered in,
that might hurt this fragile thing.

This fragile thing.

It took a long time to realise that love
is only fragile,
when ego matters more.

I’m glad I lost myself in you.

I know now that this fragile thing,
Can survive anything.

You were not the ultimate misdirection,
But the key to the strength
That I find now in my liquid bone covered midsection,
That sings in frequent, relentless connection,
about the wonders of misdirections,
For us
Whose lungs learned to sing
About all these silly things.


It’s Enough.

The car is rumbling
stuttering, hopping to the finish line on the byline of our conversations where so much sits and waits in the sidelines,
the drums are on again, it only took telling me there was something called
‘ghost notes’ to get me to agree
I had a headache after we walked the hills,
and the kids asked me
‘When will you marry daddy?’
I laughed, with joy
Because it meant something then.

I didn’t know that you were so bad with empty spaces,
when I loved them.
It hurt more than anything to know that there were parts of you that were
And parts of me that were too,
And parts of me and you and both of us that decided average was enough, and I wonder what it means when you get just tired enough
to drop your dreams, and explain it in the eternally bland
“It’s just tough”
That’s why, when your sister texted me, after we had broken up, I responded with,
‘It’s enough.”


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