Doireann Ni Ghriofa




Here, doors lead nowhere. Daisy-print curtains open to concrete.

No spiders build webs, no dust falls. From a forest of frames,

the same strangers grin; soon they feel as familiar as cousins.

We find their belongings strewn around each fake room.


My feet are tired. I start to imagine myself as one of those

framed strangers, cardboard. We wander the floors

like bored burglars, lifting things and putting them back again.

My breath is hot. Come closer, let me whisper:


In my pocket I’ve hidden an assembly key. It will fit

every flimsy flat-pack here. It unlocks every slot.

I could dismantle all these doors and beds and floors.

We could watch it all fall.


You know, I could take you to pieces too.

I could slip this key between your collarbones,

your earlobes, your thighs. I could unlock all your sockets.

Come behind this cupboard. Open your buttons.


Let me unpack you.



Doireann Ní Ghríofa is an award-winning bilingual poet based in Cork. She was recently awarded the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary by Paula Meehan. A first collection of poems in English is forthcoming from Dedalus Press.