They were back again,
Edna thought, the ghosts
Of former lovers; their
Voices carried in the wind,
Entering by the open window.
Evening. The dark skies;
The curtains flapping; the chill
Biting bone and flesh. Not the
Chill of weather, but of expectation
Of the dead loves, their cold kisses
And touches; the fingers on skin.
Murphy, Walsh and Smith, Eddie
Smith, not his brother, Joe, that
Foul piece of flesh, fecked up
Lover. She sat on the bed; no
Great expectation, just the slow
Realization she’d not had sex
With a dead lover. Maybe in mind
Or dreams; perhaps in the thoughts
When drunk, but not like this. She lay
Down, the dingy sheet on her back,
Smooth on her naked arse. Waiting
For them, for time to pass. Wonder
If Murphy’s the same? That beefcake
Of a man, the muscles, the thighs.
Walsh will he still recite the verse?
Still make love to the sound of his
Own voice? Eddie Smith, who died
At the checkpoint, made fond love
With JJ on his breath and in his
Blood. All dead. Back again.
The wind’s coming, she thought,
Ghostly lovers and the purple rain.
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