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Laura Enright Apr 2017
the corner shop near the railway station
opens now unlike when we came here first
when everything would shut on Sunday

the flea market in Mauerpark
is over-ridden with people selling kitsch
but we always go and we love it

everyone is so cool here that I think being cool
isn't hip anymore,
the street is a sea of hipsters in black

it's early Spring and there is still
no ferries on the Spree
but if you walk down the right street

you'll catch a couple of musicians
maybe a juggling act  
that blend in with graffiti and art

in the evening we'll go to the TV Tower
like tourists
pretend we can afford dinner in the revolving restaurant

two hundred and three metres high
and look over the cars on the road to Berlin-Mitte
that look like graceful glowing bugs below

we'll get have a cocktail with dinner in Caramba
in the square (just one)
and listen to light German jazz

with no need to worry
if the transport still runs at night
Laura Enright Mar 2017
Something made me think of you
while on a late-night train
I suppressed a smile while by myself
I shouldn't think about you again

As we rattled into our first stop
I thought of our first kiss
the carriage was warm but lonely
like you, on the Dublin to Galway express

We trundled on to station two
you crowded my head once more
I reminisced on our second summer then
when you used come to my door

By the time we arrived at station three
my thoughts were bitter and shrill -
you'd taken my heart, I'd forgotten that part
and leaned in for the ****

Before my stop, the train broke down
and grinded to a halt,
giving me time to reflect on what I used call 'perfect'
things that are now, undoubtedly, faults

Once the train started up, my mind was clear
as a summer Sunday sky. I alighted the train,
as it moved on in the night,
I saw
that so had I.
Laura Enright Mar 2017
I noticed her first
on the other side of the street
blonde, standing tall
an air of ease
engrossed in whatever she was talking about
with him.

I noticed him then
dark, broad
listening close
hanging on her words as if they were worth money
an expression of admiration
five o’clock shadow
furrowed brow.

I kept my eyes on the grey
of the ground. In the cold
I shuffled my scarf as if she might see it –
the place that he kissed me
above my collar bone, the curve of my neck
two nights ago.
They didn’t notice me at all.
Laura Enright Mar 2017
I was sleeping in my dream the other night
maybe that's how I knew it was a dream
I rolled over and inhaled the smell of aftershave
on pillows and realized I was in your room
in the morning when we wake
your retriever bounds in the door
of the granny-flat, tail wagging, throws her weight
on top of me. my two favourite girls you say,
then you shower, mouthwash, shave,
make breakfast in your house near the sea
with nobody except your dog, an imaginary you,
and a little part of me.

When I wake I think I'm still there
but I'm not where I thought I was
my bedroom is cold and cramped in a city apartment,
a car alarm outside wakes me with a start
my neck is stiff from the singleness of this bed.
I sit up and can see myself in the reflection
of my mirror in the dark. Just me.
I roll over and ignore, just before I fall back asleep,
I wonder to myself if everyone has
that same split second of splendid
between consciousness and dreams
that everything is the way it used to be,
before reality come crashing in like a big, dangerous tidal wave.

I dread falling back asleep.
Laura Enright Mar 2017

has she and the countryside
ever driven you so mad that
before you've even thought about it
your runners have laced themselves up

you're running in the dark
your feet beating the wet gravel road
you trip on a cattle grid
it is mostly your own fault
but you curse this ******* anyway

each note from the music in your ears
releases that pent-up frustration
until suddenly you drop
the gravel drags the skin off your knees

they bleed. You kneel there for a second
throw your head up to heaven
or the stars
or whatever is up there
you ask for an answer

but you get nothing.
her voice ringing you can't run from your problems
but here you are, once again
proving her wrong


The trees either side of the road you run on
are mangled and twisted
like a witch's fingers
they're judging you, towering over you

little girl go home to bed
don't you know it's dangerous
to be out on your own
on a boithrín this late?
this is how people get taken, or *****, or -

oh shut up!
you scream at them in the dark
words and anger drown your lungs
*you're not my ****** mother
Laura Enright Feb 2017
for E.B.

I knew you were sad
the only way I could think to help 
was to bring you to the countryside
as far away as we could get 
from your home in the midlands
far from mine in the south west

we slammed the car doors when we got out
it was the loudest sound for miles
you looked up at the sky 
furrowed your brow at the stars
like someone had stolen them from you
we don't have stars like this in the city*

you didn't cry like I thought you would
I am sorry that someone has taken your stars
so here I am giving you mine
I wanted to tell you that if you're sad 
to look at the moon
but I don't think you see the moon
in the same way I do
Laura Enright Feb 2017
I told my big brother that I hated him
because he threw sand in my face on the beach in Sydney
it stung and made me cry. He was seven, I was five.

Later we raced from the top of the beach where our mother lay
on a polka dot beach towel, sun-browned as a berry,
to the fringe of the shore where the sea foam was a bubble bath
–  the sky looks like a Greek flag, it’s so blue and white.
splashed me, shouting
–  do you still hate me?
I laughed
– yes!

When he rose in one big gulp from under the surface of water
his lips and raisin-wrinkled finger tips were tinged  blue
rosy streaks slashed across his belly
like he was ******* with poisoned red string.

I tugged on my mother’s sun dress, anxious
– Is he going to die?
– No it was only a baby one, it will do him no harm
–Am I allowed to see him?
–He’ll be out before the sun goes down
–Will you tell him I don’t hate him and it’s okay that he threw sand in my face?
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