Two Poems by Sarah Byrne

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


Martin bought two Braeburns in Super Valu.
Martin took a taxi to the beach,
tied the laces of his shoes
before removing them.
He placed a shell
over the apple core
where later, lugworms
would enter its flesh.
Martin switched
his phone to flight mode.
He took a piss
in the rock pools,
dried his feet
by marching
on the spot
of his jeans at the shore.
Martin stood
on a walking crab—crushed his head twice.
Martin counted jellyfish;
twelve of them
brained on the sand.

Seaview II

My back door neighbour
is the neighbour whose
back garden kisses
my back garden
back. When I’m eating
dinner, they see
my crown nodding,
when they’re brushing
their teeth,
I can see their hands
move side-to-side
in the dance
of cleaning, washing, drying off.
Sometimes, a tennis ball
will land in their garden
so I need to go
around to the front
of their lives. There is a wall
in our shed, it must be
the other side of the wall
she was facing when she cast
her neck into an ‘o’—in amongst
mice and white spirits. All of them
ways to die; even the honeyed seal
on the floor varnish its own
broth of poison.

Photo of Sarah Byrne

Photo of Sarah Byrne

Sarah Byrne lives in Cork, Ireland. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Prelude and in various anthologies. Her work is forthcoming in The New Statesman and she has just finished her first poetry collection. She is the editor of the literary journal, The Well Review.