Roisin Kelly




the sea’s night-blackened surface

is frayed with shimmering lights

from the slow-turning ferris wheel’s reflection

like a tired clock


too late I’ve realised that you want women

running from your hands like water

that when you watched me

swimming in the spring you saw a myth before you


a woman’s true form

but what you got was a whore.

where is the girl you called otter? no

you are no more aroused by my nakedness


than by the clothes I cast at your feet

the curled sea-whisper

urges me to bite those feet and hear the bone-splinter-

sea-shell crack. a furred shadow


I’d make for the ocean             slip

below flecks of rainbow light and leave you staring

at where I disappeared as if in dread

of something you had made.




Róisín Kelly was born in Northern Ireland in 1990 but since then she has called various places home, including Leitrim, Mayo, Galway and Cork. In 2013 she won the short story competition run by NUIG’s student newspaper, and was shortlisted in both the poetry and fiction categories for the Cúirt New Writing Prize that year. She has a poem published in the latest issue of Wordlegs and will feature in Crannog and Skylight 47 and in the Raving Beauties anthology (Bloodaxe 2015).


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