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Conor O'Leary Mar 2014
Remind the river
the puddle and the spring lake
what water tastes like.
Conor O'Leary Mar 2014
she jostles under the vine serpents,
knees scraping trees,
green light bending onto her skin.
she’s a dirt daughter
shoeless, careless
the breeze reinvents her smile.

she arrives

her toes press hard against the sidewalk,
and she takes a clinical step forward
her pale moon face
begged by the wilderness to return.

on the other side of the street he bursts from
the subway, his feet neatly clicking up
the stairs.

his briefcase swings
tightly on his hand
his dazed green eyes scurry across
tuesday’s bachelorettes
and they fall in love at least a dozen times.

he arrives

when they stumble into the same civilization
their eyes collide.

they could be blinded.
or they could catch it.
it would run under their skin
like voiceless hummingbirds
awakening their architecture
and electrocuting their blood.

yet love doesn’t just happen to
to the yin and the yang,
or the bird and the bee.

people aren’t perfect puzzle pieces.

love happens best to the disbelievers,
to the fighters, and the skeptics.
it happens to those who know that in order
to make a spark,
you need some friction.

it’s a howl of wind:
constant and spontaneous.
it can vanish and evolve:
always new.

it can braid lives together
like a man with green eyes
and a woman with a pale moon face.

maybe its all been done before.
but there’s something about the way
he juggles a sentence on his lips
and how her face rearranges into a smile
that seems new.

the story doesn’t always sound like this
but humans are like destinations
intersected and scattered
life comes and goes
and sometimes

Love arrives.
Conor O'Leary Nov 2013
When I was sixteen sun-dazed and shining
I dove feet first into
the Pacific,

and was swallowed like a pill.

The water boasted cobalt skin
but under her hips
black was the prominent chemical color.

Before I hit the toes
of the archipelago
there was that moment of war:
a violent waltz of water and air
clashing to push me out

then to bring me

there was only ocean.
the warm Pacific palm
clutching me like a marble.

The soles of her feet were sandy
and her hair was full of islands.

Her tongue was bright with summer-
her heart- full of salt.

And she let me pass through her like an apparition
my smoke drifting around her ankles
in billowing dust

My body an afterthought,
collapsed by shadows-
my eyes were left staring into the wild sapphire Earth.
Conor O'Leary Oct 2013
His eyes feel like mad August; 
his breath, hot like hope. 
there’s oil in his insides,
and fire twisting in his veins. 

He glances past the striped tent,
which rises and swells with wind.
He sees a cluster of trees drinking stars,
as whispers usher through their contorted alabaster marionettes.

His childhood was a stranded candle
arrested in bruise-colored nights.
The lone light writhed, howled;
but soon was strangled in wax.

He always planted those volatile reminiscences
in the soil next to his rotten garden heart.
and felt those sickly seeds turn crimson,
as each parasite boasted its own pulse.

His skin kindles coliseums
of gasoline-soaked bones.
Slumber-sunk fireflies keep a hollow flame going,
as shadows melt among the incendiary waves of his hair.

He meanders into the light-studded circus,
with a drop of sweat wobbling on his nose.
The spectators fasten his flesh with their stares-
and he slowly peers out at their silhouettes wriggling in the twilight.

His torches burst to life.
Scalding red veils crackling out of existence;
and immediately smoke tugs at his lungs.
His body hisses as he brings the chaos to his teeth.

A charring succession of infernos singe his throat.
Relics of his past heaves upward,
those tears, souvenirs of lonely Septembers, illuminated
between the feathers of phoenixes.

And that pillar of flame suspended above his lips,
cradled by deep liberating exhalations,
collapses within itself.

And the Night applauds.
Conor O'Leary May 2013
Fire it up.
Voices clap in rapture and lava.
And all around the slow
steady hum of
static climbs into my ears.

Slowly enveloping the poor broadcast. Gone.
Conor O'Leary Mar 2013
Did we decide on love?
You know the grumbling hooligan
better than I.
If the choice was mine I’d toss it to the streets,
let it soak in the rain.
                                                           ­                                                                 ­    You know love has
                                                                ­                                                                 a brain that hums?
                                                           ­                                                          Not sits and scowls in the
                                                                ­                                                        midst of responsibility.
                                                 ­                                                       Hold, dear child, your sentiments
                                                                ­                                                                 ­     of mediocrity.
                                                     ­                                                                 ­     And wait for the light.
Conor O'Leary Mar 2013
Willows creak in that soil
and I can hear
a tight pack of crickets shudder;
them strange noises rustlin’ up the Mississippi air:
a thick heap of hot honey, ‘rouses the sweat
on our heads;
even though its the dead a night.
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