Elaine Cosgrove


by Elaine Cosgrove



January 2005

Your brown eyes are ever-watching me,


And my fantastical mind.

We lay dreaming in togetherness,

Bound by physical twine

Unable to escape another’s touch

There was something exceptional about the feel

Of your sallow skin and the smooth curve

Of your chin

In dusky morning light


I denied the hopeless romantic

Within myself

Knocked it right down on New Year’s Day

When I realised that everyman is wishful

For just one thing and

Love is all just romantic trash shite.


November 2013

His hazel eyes have stayed with me.

They flash when I hear the words, ‘Studying

French’ and ‘Arts degree’.

There was something exceptional about the feel

of your sallow skin—Yes. But we dreamed

on a deathly cold mattress in a semi-d drowsy estate.

And the smooth curve of your chin in dusky morning

light was a great hung-over killer—Yes. Bound by fear’s twine,

un-willing to budge for a day; no harm if we skip a few classes.

I deny the hopeless romantic—knock it right down

New Year’s days. Love isn’t always, but can sometimes

be, just that—romantic trash shite on blissful repeat.



My first one—a cheap one bought in Cranmore—was stolen

from the Trades Club by boyos on speed and too much time.

Leon saw some of its flesh like shrapnel on Rockwood Parade.

But my second one, the second one—a Phil Lynott black P-bass

(mirror plate) to go with leather pants, cat-kohl eyes—played magic.


The stage lights blow up: splinter-flash on racks of young faces.

Heart’s chambers boom in The Ambassador; bass clef springs alive.


Lunchtime—April Saturday—in a high-rise block. Partner holds a hammer

outside locked spare single room. Polish kids play with their new words

on the green. The ice cream van comes around, Match of the Day jingles.

The hammer-man is having a panic attack. The pinna in her ear waits

for the bang cracking the rosewood frets, the maple neck, the alder body.


Fifties Hits, parents’ bedroom and nothing-to-do summer Saturdays.

The house all to my sister and me dancing on imaginary street corners

of American diners. Dax-hair and over-sized shirts mimic the steel-pluck

of speaker strings. The doo-wop purity of Only you; Only have eyes for you;

In the still of the night; Blue moon; Earth Angel is satin in the pit of my stomach.


My Dad leaves the family car at bottom of black

night hill that brings you up to our house.

Our hands freeze, clutch our ribcages, as we trek

bodies’ bent forward, heels dug in. Twenty-six

years and we still love each other only

in Christmas, and Birthday cards. Salutations—big

as elephant in room—are loud trunk-trumpets of

blue ink, scrawled. Christmases are Attenborough:

The Blue Planet, The Frozen Planet, and The

Human Earth.  Pringles and ice cubes get stuck in

the strait of my throat. I’d look through the kitchen

window when I was younger—imagine my Dad at

work. Crêpe crowns and cracker toys made joyous;

softened some dozing heads. The residence’s lights

glint over from across the lake, and through the

slight dark he dispenses medication; asks what

people would like to watch for the rest of the

evening. Patients cried at his retirement do, as they

shook his hand farewell. We are on separate

couches now, legs-up on the arm-rests. The kitten

I rescued and sent to Sligo from Galway has grown

to truly be my Dad’s pet. We watch All Things

Must Pass—a documentary about George

Harrison. Years of snapped tempers, no-sky eyes—

of be seen and not heard—when he came back

from the night-shift begin to ken inside my heart.

The fire cracks alongside the voiceovers, the

soundtrack playing on the HD screen. I am proud

of the care he gave; I learn this more as I mature

into myself. We sip fizzy juice out of soda-lime

tumblers. Dinner is ready. Little toys, assembled

out of lucky bags burst open, decorate the house.

Our home-kiln cools—the blank, blue temper

for new shapes between us is set.

Elaine Cosgrove is from Sligo, and lives in Galway city. She has an M.Phil. in Creative Writing (Distinction) from Trinity College, Dublin. Most recently, work has been published in Icarus, 30 under 30: An Anthology of Short Fiction (wordlegs and Doire Press), and The New Binary Press Anthology of Poetry: Volume I. Follow @laineycos Scrapbook: elainecosgrove.tumblr.com  Side-project: returnedpoemsproject.tumblr.com