You are in England stargazing,
dark grass dampening your shoulders,
maybe in that green jumper—
and I wonder who’s up there.
Whether the bright blue of Venus
catches your eye
or Ursa Major, that’s the bear
isn’t it? A story
I can’t even remember
but I still try to imagine it,
you lying there
your hand pushing at your hair
your eyes flickering green and brown
the lightning bugs clicking
and the night air
but that’s just me—and I’m
jealous of the stars
when you stare at them.
You’re worrying about the fish
winking up below the film of algae and litter,
and what they would think of you all
stampeding overhead like your Polish neighbours do
with their illegal dog, or what they would think
of you in particular, guiding a boy across the river.
Or maybe there aren’t even fish down there.
You know very little about rivers in general,
or fresh water fish. Or salt water fish?
The name of this bridge is eluding you too…
In fact, most of Ireland is a complete mystery.
And that’s when you think, maybe
you don’t know anything at all.
Maybe you would never know anything
except that feeling
that something isn’t right—
standing in a crowd at a distance—
everyone knowing what bridge they’re on
everyone feeling something you’re not
and the boy smiling like he has no idea
that you have no idea where you are going.
Annie Wiles is currently living in Dublin while completing her M.Phil in Creative Writing at Trinity. She hails from New Haven, CT, where she started writing at an early age. Comments from peers include ‘I don’t get it’, ‘is it about sex?’, and ‘ew, I didn’t want to know that.’ Publications include, one time she got a letter from a website saying they wanted to publish her poem, but it turned out to be a scam. She completed her MA in English at the University of St Andrews and attended the Southampton Writers’ Conference in 2009. She is currently working on a collection of poetry. As one classmate said encouragingly, ‘this is working much better than the other novel you’re working on.’