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Leannán Sí

Carry on without me—
I have decided to stay nineteen.
I'll send you postcards
to the future, saying: wish you were here.

I have oiled my skin with lemon verbena, doused
in a mountain stream, lathered in milkwort
—soap of the fairies—and tonight I will suspend myself
in an overnight cluster on the threshold of your dreams.

It is midsummer's eve
and I am a leannán sí—

a time warrior, in constant
solstice, armed with a purple quiver-full
of knapweed to joust each minute
of creeping darkness.

A mischievous fairy mistress,
I'll take mortal lovers whenever I please;
perhaps even choose to be a poet's muse,
lounge naked in his sonnets sipping Chianti.

Some day, when you're stalled
at traffic lights on Lavitt's Quay, you will think
you glimpse me in your rear view mirror
roller-skating over Christy Ring Bridge;

hear my Galway tones dance a slow set
down Shandon Street from the bells
of the red and white pepper pot; see my face
in a winking swan on The Lough—they mate for life you know.

You might even catch snatches of the bright
orange patches in my jeans, whizzing downhill
on the crossbar of somebody else's bicycle,
my whole life giggling ahead of me . . .

*a leannán sí is a beguiling fairy in Celtic folklore who takes human lovers

Majella Kelly is a native of Tuam, Co. Galway, Ireland. A graduate of UCC she also holds an MA in Modern Drama Studies from UCD. She was short listed for the Cuirt New Writing Prize 2013 and The Fish Poetry Prize 2014. She is a photographer, half of the creative duo known as Fotissima.