Anna Walsh

i will die afraid but i do not want to die alone & Invocation

Anna Walsh

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i will die afraid but i do not want to die alone

there is

a repetition to the days


finding more people

to sit in a room

and eat with you.

this is what you know

to be love.

you stitch your life with


words to make

the small things big and


when you write about

cheap salami, cheese

and wine.

how you ate and drank of them

how you dribbled the wine

into an unclean glass

the sting, the salt,

the soft

of your mouth.

the cracked black pepper.

the red ring from your red lips

on the glass,

how bold your desire looks

for someone

to witness you

in this

great moment.

you put that

beside the pain in your chest.

the brokenness

of the world is one broken person

seeking another broken person

 and what exists between them.

a tableaux of fuck ups,

you walk around

half-stupid with fear,

the letters of loneliness

spelt out

across your body

and you bang heads

with everyone

in an effort

to find someone

who will eat cheap salami

and cheese,

and drink wine with you.


in the name of the Father and of the Father’s Father

and the Father’s Father’s Father

i type with my right hand, the trapped nerves

the bad circulation

‘nana had it too, it’s from fucking smoking’

the defining pain of the family-

self-inflicted, group-flagellation

the tempers and the weak eyes

the indignation that

the world does not listen to us

the same rutted jaw.

beside me, before me,

in the hearts of all that are me

our blood runs self-same, air bubbles full of

something we do not name

but acknowledge silently

in the way we walk

and call each other by the other’s name

there is an overwhelming truth to our shoulders

how our limbs stretch out for each other

how your skin vibrates, frustrated that

they are the skin you are in

but you would not find shelter elsewhere,

the hard-earned bed, the solid walls,

the empty holy water font

he insists on blessing himself from

see, you bind yourself to the name, it is

an invocation

of the three-headed dog, the bad heart,

the saints, and the wasters

we feel pain the same way as we love-

before us, behind us, beside us

you will never see our love as a whole

but in your peripheral vision

constantly in view

skewered in the tasks we perform for you

the duties we undertake

just to complain about

hard words 

that trip the same way

we are the same in mouth of friend and stranger

‘i knew you were one of them, i could tell by the way you walked to the kitchen’

sacred things like

cigarettes and pints and toast and

shared moses baskets, burger bites,


nicknames nobody can explain

the statue of Mary in the trees beside tesco

trick or treating with sudocreme on our faces.

we invoke these things still,

ritually, over

feasts of crisps, biscuits, Budweiser or


sometimes drugs

always cigarettes


this is the body of our family

and we invoke the name in the sharing of it

Anna Walsh

Anna Walsh is from Mullingar, and holds an MA in Creative Writing. Published in the Honest Ulsterman, Bohemyth, Headstuff, and others, she is currently working on her first book. She co-runs The Gremlin.

Twitter: @annaw999

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