Presence 72

young impalas
all outrunning
the son I never had

Lysa Collins

the white tip 
of the puppy’s tail
morning star

Claire Everett

no one laughs about
him anymore
the boy with the gun

James Babbs

Friday noon—
the barista from Argentina     
holds herself 
as if 
she’s ready to tango  

Jenny Fraser

golden grasses
platinum barbed wire 
he shuts the gate 
at the railway siding
leaves its wealth behind

Hazel Hall


the stench of urine –
through the concrete stairwell
a shaft of cold light

‘Skinny Bulger blew his gear and said he ain’t coughin’ up for it,’ Little Dec told Sharon. 
Everyone sez nothin’ for a minute. Sharon is thinking, and everyone likes Skinny, so they’re all thinkin’ too, ‘bout how to get him outta this corner.
‘He’s all mouth’, sez Damo, ‘He’ll pay up alright, he’s only a gobshite.’
‘Ask me bollix,’ Sharon sez, and no-one’s gonna contradict Sharon, not on any front. She’s been makin’ a point since she took over from Fran after he got a long stretch for possession with intent. Now she’s the one with all the intent, if ya follow me?
‘Pay ‘im a visit,’ Sharon sez. 
And that’s it – decision made. Then she sez, ‘Bring the crowbars with yis.’

saliva drip – 
somewhere in the mist
a growling dog

— Sean O’Connor