Audrey Molloy — 3 Poems


Living It Over


Had I not held his gaze a beat too long,

the soft sounds of night-breathing

would come from different children

or none at all; had I not hauled

my pack along a dotted line

through India, Nepal, I would not

sleep tonight in this city

of sapphire water, sandstone walls.

The major things I’d not alter.

But what of the small, tangential

threads leading nowhere in particular?

My head, shaken at the slender girl

who plied her best room

with an open palm: earthen floor,

bare windows to the Goripani sky?

A gift spurned, compliment disdained.

Yes, I would, in younger years

aspire to grace, if I had my time again.

Emily's Lament, by Audrey Molloy

Poaching stone fruit on the long weekend


A small, one-chef kitchen.

He wears sudsy cuffs, twirls taps.

I split ripe peaches, dark plums,

and drop them in a pan of sugar-syrup;

a cigarillo cinnamon quill,

vanilla pods that probe my appetite

like question marks.

He brushes past to collect

the breakfast things; sweeps

eggshell and bacon rind into the bin.

The peaches loosen in their skins,

plums fizz at a simmer.

My side-zip dress has riddled

his fingers into words:

What’s the point of having a zip

where my hands can reach nothing?

We pinball off the Caesarstone.

We taste of Fairy liquid

and fermenting juice.

Too old for kitchen bench

or table top, the marble tiles too hard,

we argue the toss:

You like being on top?

I do; you look like a boy.

I am a boy.

The stone fruit comes on to the boil

and the air is thick with lactones.

Sweet liquid spurts from the pan.

Audrey Molloy

Audrey Molloy is an Irish poet living and working in Sydney. Her work has most recently appeared in The North, Mslexia, Magma, The Moth, The Irish Times and The Tangerine.  In 2019 she received the Hennessy Award for Emerging Poetry, the Listowel Writers’ Week Award for Irish Poem of the Year and the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award.  Her debut pamphlet, Satyress, will be published by Southword Editions in early 2020.  Find her here!

  • Featured image, by Amar Saeed.

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