Alicia Byrne Keane

Spines, Pines

I think of the streets near your house: 

glass suburban mall, sunset, trees 

blooming with something like black rosehips.

I guess not really blooming, post- that.

The pines out here, where I sit retreating,

are like spines, and I mean both a person’s spine

and a thing like a porcupine quill. The arc

of a fish leaping from the lake is something

I only ever see via its after. There are so many betweens 

to the light here: far forest glowing teal, 

cloud sweeping in over the lake, the pulse

of a swan’s wings a shore away. The latter

is not about light, directly. Like a riddle: tell me which 

one doesn’t belong, or which one belongs in a more 

intricate way. Sudden sun, flaring 

over the boathouse roof: I miss you. 

The sky is big and soft.

Dr. Alicia Byrne Keane is a recent PhD graduate from Dublin. Alicia has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Prizes, and is in receipt of Irish Arts Council Agility Award and Dublin City Council Bursary Award funding, with a debut collection forthcoming from Broken Sleep Books (2023).