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“tear with shrapnel hands / eyelashes from their skin graves”

Published onSep 21, 2020

Photo by Kiyana on Unsplash

O, Ugly, returned
from your temporary leave,
come closer. Come
with your catastrophic

 weapons — vandal
of love — loot
this heart, tear
with shrapnel hands

from their skin graves,
command teardrops
in massacres of crying.

 O, Ugly, plunge
your orders inside
this bombed mouth.
Make insults

 lethal affection.
Ugly, you are a soldier,
battle to reclaim
self loathing.

 Release civilians
of their guilt;
these troops of
praise, hollow praise.

 Let hate behold the grimace
of plush lipstick,
of pouting kiss-lips,
thorn bouquets

 puncturing dimples, shrouds
of smiling, terrible
lies. O, Ugly, broken fool,

 unleash your assaults,
loaded, pointing, firing.  
Ugly, where is my war?
I am armed.

Maeve McKenna is from Dublin, now living in Sligo. She has been writing poetry and short stories all her life. In 2018, her work was shortlisted for the Red Line and highly commended in the iYeats International Poetry Competitions. In 2019, she was highly commended in the Frances Ledwidge and longlisted in the Over The Edge Poetry competitions.  She was joint runner-up in the Trim Poetry Competition, 2020. Her work has been published in Mslexia, The Galway Review, Boyne Berries, Fly on the Wall, The Cormorant, Skylight47, Mad Swirl and Sonder Magazine. Her poems have appeared online in The Bangor Literary Journal, Bonnies Crew, The Ink Pods, Blue Nib, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Live Encounters and many others. She has work forthcoming in 100 Words Of Solitude, Bloody Amazing Anthology and Black Bough Poetry.


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