by Mairéad Byrne
I used to wish I had a camera with a zoom lens to photograph the roiling sea outside my window as it shifts heaving hardly liquid more a substance coming to the boil. So much of this planet looks like it must be another planet. I wanted to photograph that surface to remind myself of here when I was there. But I got something better: Sea glasses. These are glasses I have to wear. I mightn’t like wearing them. Like I mightn’t like grey hair. But if I wear my glasses, on the lenses on the inside like a screen the sea roils and I can see the islands like basking whales. Scarriff or Inish or Horse or Beginish. And when I’m at a meeting and people are sounding their little trumpets and I am tempted to blow my shrill cornet instead I just sit back and observe on the inside lenses of my glasses the sea rocking in the bay, a seabird coming landward, flapping, curving, halting mid-flight, cleaving away.
Mairéad Byrne emigrated from Ireland to the U.S. in 1994, for poetry. She may go back, for the same reason. Recent publications include two chapbooks, In & Out (Smithereens Press) and har sawlya (above/ground press); poems in A Cast-Iron Airplane That Can Actually Fly: 80 Poets Comment on Their Prose Poems (MadHat Press) and The Stinging Fly; and two essays, “Light in July,” in David (Jhave) Johnston’s ReRites: Raw Output/Responses (Anteism Books) and “The Shed of Poetry,” in A Line of Tiny Zeros in the Fabric (Shearsman Books). She lives in Providence and teaches at Rhode Island School of Design.