Simon Costello

Simon Costello


Dusk relapses in punched honey behind the shed.
I’m pacing naked around the garden.
Sweaty and bone obvious, a pale sheet
tossed over branches. Pulling up rocks
from the grass, flipping them over
like new born babies.
                                                 Ah, bug city!
                         Ah, thriving underworld
in my yellow eye!

I’ve looked at this house the way a burglar
sits in his car at a distance,
smelled a bonfire coming from the basement,
my own private horizon,
no elevator to open its wound
below the kitchen.

What’s left to say:
the pre-thrown stone dreams the skull
accelerating into glass.

Out here, midnight runs its mascara,
see the same spiral in the Milky Way
you’d find in your cornea
or the snail shell sucked to this brick:

mathematically speaking,
I could be anyone,
I was always sliming decades towards you.
Moisture in my slow atrocity at the end
of your driveway, the last tenant returning
to find a new family in his window.

From in there
don’t I look like someone else entirely?
The last word, this red star
at the end of my arm
how many times did you wake
to find me swaying in the garden,
hair smelling of petrol
and a lighter in my mouth?
Back when love was a flare gun discharging
under my chin, my face lit up like a screensaver.

Not like you
who could find tomorrow in the crawlspace,
in your Lidl telescope, the present tense
in the maggot glow of stars, silk
at the end of the worm,
rotted light emailing back to earth
teaching me to ask the scam caller
if his children are doing well,
has his Da got that lump checked.

You deserve more than holding up my head
in a cold bath, your palm on my forehead,
Hush now,
take this,
my junk smile
in your morning eyes.

I’m sorry about the windows,
the nights you used with me, to stop me,
when the bulb blew and moths fell from the ceiling
like satellites.
Mars spilt its big body through the window
and I can’t promise I’ll never look back
from this new planet we‘ll also grow
extinct on.

When I swore on the Sacred Heart above the fireplace
I’d stop itching, I meant to say
I love you forever,
that no one can guarantee Jesus
won’t set his chest on fire
when they step out of the room: tomorrow

we’re on a beach in Nova Icària
eating lamb heart,
drinking Aperol spritz,
falling asleep between each other’s legs,
the burning stuntman diving
into the lake.

SIMON COSTELLO’s poems have recently appeared in The Poetry Review. A pamphlet of poems, ‘Saturn Devouring’, will be published by The Lifeboat Press in 2024. He lives in Ireland.