What Remains is never quite Real

By Oisín Breen

Once, in my old house in Damascus,
We knew it as the Pink House,
I was visited by a young American.

And once, when the boiler rumbled, as it did, daily,
He threw me beneath my bed at a bone-shattering pace,
To save me from a phantasm, that hounded him.

He had travelled 7,447 miles on the back of an absurd vision,
Of misdirected violence, searching for his innermost self,
Which he found when he shed white phosphorous tears.

He took to frequenting the bars of old Damascus, too,
Wearing a corset of spent uranium shells,
Polka-dotted in blood.

He hoped forgetfulness might return whiteness to his teeth,
It did not, and he never could forget,
For in Fallujah he painted a mausoleum of Dali paintings.

It shook him, split him into two sherds of porcelain,
The first, a black shadow on sandstone walls,
The second, a man, who knew he must not forget.

Artist: Maher Salma
E-mail: mahersalma@gmail.com
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MaherSalmaVisualArtist

About the Author:
A poet, part-time academic in narratological complexity, and financial journalist, Dublin born Oisín Breen‘s widely reviewed debut collection, ‘Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten’ was released Mar. 2020. Breen has been published in a number of journals, including About Place, the Blue Nib, Books Ireland, the Seattle Star, Modern Literature, La Piccioletta Barca, the Bosphorus Review of Books, the Kleksograph, In Parentheses, the Madrigal, and Dreich magazine.
Twitter: @Breen
Full Bio: https://www.pw.org/directory/writers/oisin_breen