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Alicia Byrne Keane

Frame (difficult)


I am trying to remember what            someone told me about whitethorn

flowers and thresholds,          but maybe these tangled shapes          aren’t whitethorn

and maybe this isn’t a threshold. This             field-corner like a scratched photograph,

an overcast      dusk dividing  itself into         particles. The twigs    are a nothing, like

a whitening seam,        like the lines you’d draw        to tether a constellation’s scatter

back together. The flowers are           already softening themselves in the blur of

any picture I would take.        They are          in the category of things that make you

feel like          you can’t see too well,  points of dispersal.    And above everything is

lightening into             arid escape. On the brow       of the hill there is a clutch of wooden

structures,       dolmen shaped, each a          little trinity of things holding each other up,

and I     know they are stencils or that isn’t the right word,     scaffolds of some sort

for helping things grow.         But with blue light       diffusing through their absences

there is something      of the graveyard           isn’t there        the stifled angle

If we met in a park


how would we make sure the distance stayed constant

didn’t swallow itself like part of a word? Something of


time travel or the afterlife about it, always conditions to

make things a bit sadder. Unknowns are still scudding,


enclosed by the sweep of forest, night-basin where the

week wells and shifts. A face breaks apart on the lake


surface, becomes something like a swell of pale ribbon

stretching. This sibilance could be winter but it’s just 


the sense of a gesture gathering, a swirled flock might

explode from the tree-canopy if I say something like


‘cringe’ or ‘lustre.’ Confetti sharp, tiny overdrive hearts

exit rivering. The crushed velvet of a Wednesday where


you didn’t need to be anywhere and/or nobody saw you.

I admit it, this overturned sulk catches the light so well.


Alicia Byrne Keane is a PhD student from Dublin, Ireland, working on an Irish Research Council-funded PhD study that problematizes ‘vagueness’ and the ethics of translation in the work of Samuel Beckett and Haruki Murakami, at Trinity College Dublin. Alicia’s poems have appeared in The Moth, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Abridged, The Honest Ulsterman, and Entropy.

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