Aoife Casby – […]



Beginning with desire the text was made.



The thing is to write and not to be afraid.


The resistible idea of kissing. Starts in belly, locks it down (the belly), crown (and here it’s time to say of thorn) but no, it goes into your arms, the pluck and daring hug; feel how your shoulders can. The kiss, the lip, your tongue’s anticipation. It’s hot, the light goes warm. I hear voices, other, them. And I am outside, aside, an afterthought of me. Now. The cotton shirt I wear, grey stripe, the kiss ungloves your hands. And saying please, don’t do don’t do, I don’t know do what to touch, oh skin. Oh warm. Th. Th. Th. / Light. And smell. I tell the depth of day from skin beneath your shirt and lay the print of desire in scent for years. For that is what is in the deep belly now. All this before the kiss. The yawned belly locked tight. And shoulders, me. So strong. And strings of light detonate into my eary thought, the world about delights. Delighted be. Oh me. Oh I. And don’t oh do. Oh don’t, I imagine your eye. I see. I can. It’s me. It’s me. Resist. Resist. (This barbaric twist.) Desist.


I have a model of a woman in my mind; she sings or has been known to, Ave Marias. She can read, write men. I hear her argument in waiting rooms, her sure sarcasm, weight. She once knew the song of a cape robin, a collared songbird; now dreams of birds having unnatural sleep; spends time-consuming afternoons pushing a pram, watches tourists at the river for 30 seconds of absorption or tumbling water without the clouds’ reflection, without the ferns, the undergrowth, dead swan, the focus on rebuilding a country without asking what the country is about.


She escapes the city when she can, for forest. Forestry is a room. And hers. The mantel, branches where she makes precious all her wants, places pictures of the dead she cannot emulate. She keeps birds whose specialty is eating trails of crumbs, knows what this means. There are corners and beneathnesses where light never falls. She also knows that there are those/things that/who live in wilful dark. The leaf and leaf turn and tune and chant like children, self-involved, and all society mocks her understanding. Not wanting to go back to town, she begins to sound-proof herself, but does continue to cook balanced meals and lay the table. This woman will come back to her room. Her liver’s haunted, she remembers in her teenage years underlining important words in books, the ghosts of which she can’t remember.

Previous articleShaun Bythell – The Diary of a Bookseller
Next articleAlexander Shurbanov
Aoife Casby
Aoife Casby’s short fiction and poetry has been published in “The Dublin Review”, “The Stinging Fly”, “Banshee”, ‘Noir by Noir-West’ (Arlen House), “Ropes”, “The Cúirt Annual”, “Whispers and Shouts”, “West47”, “Criterion”, “The Cork Literary Review”, “Divas anthology” (Arlen House), “The Sunday Tribune”, “Cyphers” and others. She was the winner of “The Doolin Short Story Prize 2017” (judged by Tramp Press) and has been long listed for the “Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Award” and the “Fish Short Story Prize”. She has been awarded literature bursaries from the Irish Arts Council and Galway County Council. She is completing a PhD at Goldsmith’s University, London.