Ciaran Carson

February Fourteen (1998)

Meanwhile, back in Japan, it is Valentine’s Day.
The love hotels are fully booked as Bethlehem,
As, canted like a drunken boulevardier,
My soul roams Tokyo holding one rose by its stem.

Snow is falling in the print by Hiroshige
That I gaze at in a hundred TV screens;
Bronze temple-gongs reverberate their cloisonée;
The light is orange-syncopated reds and greens.

Then I met you, Irish exiles, in the Fish Bar,
Where we staggered between three wobbly shamrock stools
Eyed by prismed species pouting in their glazed bazaar.

Fourteen Bloody Marys later you lisped of home.
We then discovered we had come from different schools,
Yet thought the same, like mutants of one chromosome.






































‘February Fourteen’ appeared in The Twelfth of Never, is © The Gallery Press, and appears here with the kind permission of The Gallery Press and Ciaran Carson. For a note about Ciaran Carson see The Rising Sun.

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