Niamh Prior

Swimming Sideways

Your flight left three days ago —

like a hidden track after
silence at the end of a CD
your head appears inside your
sister’s kitchen window when
I call to her for a morning run.
Flu-like symptoms we’d wished
upon you have kept you here.
In a bonus episode, we three
walk down beside Charles Fort
over scorched grass, sharp rocks,
enter the ebbing high tide,
swim sideways out of a rip,
dodge compass jellyfish and,
having smashed time to pieces,
recline and dry off in the sun.

Niamh Prior
is from Kinsale in Co. Cork. She studied English with Film and TV Studies at Brunel University London, and later Creative Writing at UCC, where her postgraduate work was funded by the Irish Research Council. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in journals including The North, Southword and The Stinging Fly. Her debut book of fiction, Catchlights, was published by John Murray Originals in June 2022.

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