Men who work in menswear shops

Evan Costigan won the 2012 Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the 2014 Hennessy Literary Awards. He received a poetry bursary from Kildare County Council arts office in 2012.

Evan Costigan won the 2012 Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the 2014 Hennessy Literary Awards. He received a poetry bursary from Kildare County Council arts office in 2012.

 

fold arms of tweed over arms of tweed,

plump up jumpers, tuck price tags inside shirts,

then stare out windows with heads like anvils

that haven’t been struck in an age.

In polka dot ties with striped shirts,

they make sweeping statements derived

from the world of cottons, linens, wools

without an ounce of Sisyphean grace.

 

I knew the false bravado of such men once,

after a lover left, when I’d to look the other way

from the strand of hair pulled from a plughole

and the leftovers of our last meal, a cooked chicken

under a cover of foil I could not touch, patted as it had been under her hands.

 

Through shop windows, I stare at them

staring back at me and, with our reflections

bearing down on us, we return

to this dumb business called living.

Evan Costigan won the 2012 Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the 2014 Hennessy Literary Awards. He received a poetry bursary from Kildare County Council arts office in 2012.