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I’m sorry (to myself) but I can’t take a weekend off from imagery at the moment

I need imagery too much right now       I feel horrified when I think how I am mostly

always doing what an optician would call ‘close-work’         the world is not blanketed

like it was a day ago       but a scrape of ice is lingering between the roof slates

cold slants shadow-held          over most things, the parts of our street

that were not touched by sun      a handful of us are always leaving & a handful of us

are always coming back      L messaged me the other day to say they have moved in

with a friend     to a cloistered town not far from here        I should suggest a pint

but I don’t want to be the person who sends a last-minute invite     having always hated

that myself    & anyway everywhere you walk these last few days    there’s the sense

you are tapping the brakes      all the outward motion gone from our stride       

soles pat the ice       as conclusively as possible       what a human way of dealing 

with the earth        like we’re prodding someone’s shoulder in a queue



Dr. Alicia Byrne Keane's poetry has been published in The Stinging FlyThe MothStandThe ScoresAnthropoceneThe Interpreter's HouseThe Berkeley Poetry Review, and The Colorado Review, among other journals. Further work is forthcoming from The Seneca Review; Alicia’s debut full collection will be published by Broken Sleep Books in December 2023.

ISSN 2632-4423

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