Poem of the week: Twenty-One Questions

A new work by Molly Twomey

Have you ever lied to me? I ask. You reply,
that on our fifth date, you said a rock hit the wheel,

but it was a chaffinch. You didn't turn and hand me
that small flame of news but drove into the mango

and gunpowder sunset. Afraid I'd make you pull up
to check that there were no quavers stuck in its throat.

That if its pulse didn't react to my fingers
tap-dancing on its keel bone, I'd want to bury it


under heather and moss. You thought I'd make you pray
every time we drove from Lismore to Ballynoe, that our date

would become not the boardwalk, chips and the anemones
but broken wings and blood wet feathers. I think of your ex

in North Carolina. How she might have perched and looked out
to razed earth, waiting for you with your newly shaved beard,

hand luggage of notebooks and craft beer. Only for the fast
and brutal machine of my heart to catch you off guard.

Molly Twomey has won the Padraic Colum Poetry Prize, the Waterford Poetry Prize, and has been awarded the Eavan Boland Mentorship Award and an Arts Council Literature Bursary. She is currently working on her debut collection.