Poems by Steve Denehan

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Sandalwood

Some foundation, concealer
a little rouge
a subtle lipstick
her reflection disappoints
lines, hard earned, unwanted
her reflection smiles
it helps

She dusts and tidies
arranges
rearranges
old photographs
of ghosts

She lights a candle
sandalwood
she vacuums
and sweeps
she polishes
and primps
her home
herself
just in case

Two Scientists

I should be in work
instead, I sit in a Dublin café
tightly clutching a cup of tea
as if it might escape

to avoid contact with other people I stare
at a television hanging on the wall
“Warning – The Following Footage Contains Gruesome Scenes”
precedes relentless awfulness
war, tyrannical dictators, child molestation, rape, murder
then, to lighten things, the cult of celebrity
a waterfall of bile, the dregs of us
roaring forth into our grateful mouths and

I cannot look and notice
a boy and his father, hunched over a small table
between them, a tall glass of coke
a scoop of ice-cream is slowly lowered
two scientists, giddy with expectancy
the foam rises slowly upward
his young eyes have already half eaten it
the foam tries to escape but it is met
by the boy’s giggling tongue and
it is life, it is everything, and it wins
it wins every
single
time

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Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. Recent publication credits include Better Than Starbucks, Fowl Feathered Review, Dual Coast, The Opiate, Sky Island Journal, Poetry Quarterly, Evening Street Review, The Folded Word, Ink In Thirds, Crack The Spine, The Cape Rock, Visions International, and Third Wednesday. His chapbook, Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong, is available from Fowlpox Press.

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