Paul Gallagher

Macrocarpa (Cupressus macrocarpa) He was bruised lucid when I found him, The ruptured contents of the radiator Still rising up through lower branches. He would later tell me oh how it hurts And ask me to hold him, but early on In this piece he started with a punch line. A sentence punctuated by my headlights And his car: an interjection into that tree. I should have hit a micro-carpa, he said. His ribs were once parentheses but now Broken they leaked prepositions with Each tick-tick tick-tick of the indicator. Pink blood foaming (from his mouth) Pierced lungs filling (up“Paul Gallagher”

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Paul Gallagher

Roasting Plantain (Poem for Sosephina) When confronted with the wisdom of the years Even bitter fruits become moreish in palm oil. There is no battle here between past and present, youth knows To turn sweating pig meat and banana leaves on hot stones. Grey locks washed, softened in coconut milk will watch: Blushing cheeks stitched by time to seams of wrinkled satin. An old wedding photograph shows even Hibiscus blooms And smiles will suffer the browning lassitude of age. Though the frame still shines with the gilded edge of marriage, Dementia masks gestures of memories best left forgotten.