in the desert’s starry side.
You are there on hands and knees
trying to staunch the flow
with seashells and strange-shaped bottles
a narwhal tusk and emerald ink
and old ships’ mermaids.
Suspended now like ghosts in mid-flight
around a house you dry-docked
on the black rocky outcrop
they crossed this spring
with tools of a trade
to dig up the past to bury it again.
Selfsame day everything in her sank
low like a warship or mineshaft
or tea drank with a general in Pimlico.
Becoming good being gone
the lady is not for returning as you turn
your face from sea to sun
ribs rife with light and needles
from a stand of pine.
Engraving the white dry salty air
while a figurehead called Maria Celeste
weeps winds to flame
your revenant bones rising.
With the cello’s flaming mane.
Clare McCotter's poetry has appeared in Abridged, Boyne Berries, Crannóg, Cyphers, Decanto (forthcoming), Iota (forthcoming), Irish Feminist Review, Poetry24, Revival, Reflexion, The Cannon’s Mouth, The Moth Magazine, The Poetry Bus, The SHOp and The Stinging Fly. Black Horse Running, her first collection of haiku, tanka and haibun, was published in 2012. Home is Kilrea, County Derry.