Girl from Cookstown

by Dominic McGrath

You don’t think I remember but
I do. Oh boy, do I remember.
Your lips, like kissing a cyst.
Wet and oily, like a kiss from
A fisherman. It was your plan
Wasn’t it, to get me drunk?
And wasn’t it you who murmured
My arse was like two guard cells
Round a stoma? Well, you owned
A car didn’t you? That practically
Made you God. You could have turned
Amsterdam into Mecca, knowing you
Like I know you now. You’re wondering
Aren’t you, how I remember. I don’t
Know either. Divine inspiration?
Or maybe I’m inventing? That’s what
Us girls do someone said.
And it reminds me of what my aunt was saying,
About how she got home one night,
Dressed like a bride in white,
On the handlebars of her boyfriend’s
Bike. His hands kneading her wrist.
I never got home by the way.
I met day wrapped in a ripped
Dress with a broken wrist and
Two bruises where my breasts
Should be. The doctor sent
Me home with a child on the way.
Beating it’s breast inside my chest.
I wonder what marriage will feel like
To you? Will your wife give bother?
Can the boy box? Can he swing a punch?
When there’s an infant in my arms,
And your past is a myth,
Remember the pinch you gave
Me, that still smarts when I slumber,
Memories like undertow.