I like now
because this is a one-person bed,
and my window is open.

My polka dot trousers flutter
on the balcony; the fan
mutters and turns away.

There is, miles from here, someone
thinking of me tonight
as she sorts my forgotten clothes
into boxes and lights her candle
to the Black Madonna on the stove.

Everywhere, there are arrows pointing away
from here—the beam from the crooked street lamp
that peeks in my room like a cheap moon,
the stripes of the butcher’s tracksuit, even
the blaze orange trail of graffiti someone left
in the alley by the bin last night.

There are nine million other people on this earth
who share my birthday and rare birds
teetering toward extinction every day, Indian Frogmouth,
Turquoise-Browed Motmot, Great Currasow
with his cocky oiled mowhawk.

Yesterday, I watched a man play the panpipes
at the river for no one, and today, the florist 
who has been sick turns up for work again.

I like the crest of foam on the abandoned mug
and the swirl of incense as it nods toward my ceiling;
the last sleeve of oreos I’ve been saving, and the song
that jumps out of a passing car and modulates 
one key down as it speeds away, a small miracle
of molecules performed just for me.

Shannon Kuta Kelly’s work has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, the Irish Times, Crannog, and Body Prague. She was named one of the best new Irish and British poets of 2018 by Eyewear Press. She lives in Galway, Ireland.

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