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"Facetime" by Áine Rose

I was preparing for talk about the weather,

small town updates, I miss you too’s

while following ghosts around

grey-clad slabs of Melbourne

instead, your faces were Russian dolls tapped together

afloat like rubbery armbands

in the black pool of the family leather couch.

A roly-poly stare of a wobbly screen.

I did not expect you to update me on

memory tests in James’,

sudden sick leave

early-onset cognitive decline.

The fall of an angel was

an upheld hand that fell flat to my hip.

All the heat in the world could not have

mustered up energy to speak of

the rush of a smacked face

when hit by an open over door

I watched his temples glisten like dewy honey

I’m not going anywhere, girl

later that evening, enfolding myself

in a full bottle of Oyster Bay

they didn’t hear my small whimpers through the night

I willed a way to go home.

Áine Rose is an artist and poet from Donegal, Ireland. She has a bachelor’s degree in Speech & Language Therapy from Trinity College, Dublin (2017) and a postgraduate fine-art degree from the Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Clare (2021). She has been awarded the Emerging Artist Bursary Award from Arts & Health funded by Irish Health Service & Irish Arts Council (2022). Her work has appeared in Morning Fruit, Icarus, A New Ulster & Irish Arts Review.

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