Ireland, A Sapphic Poem

I made love to Ireland
after a two month courtship—
an old-time stroll and dance
through her bars and hills,
glens and small towns,
until she appeared before me,
clothed in flesh of
Bailey's Irish Cream,
in the last bar on the last night.
She gave me no other name,
but tangled my clove-smoke
hair in her strong hands,
dizzying me with her scent
of green mornings and Guinness
(always extra stout,
surprising all the barkeeps
with her silverfish smile).
She insisted on my hotel room,
where she lay fallow and inviting
on my bed:
the pools of her eyes offering
to quench whatever thirst I
brought to her.
My tongue spoke to her
with penitent grace
and my hands explored
the soft and curving continent
that was her skin.

I drank from Ireland
that night,
tasted running water
of shamrock over salmon,
before she laid me out
and covered me with her nakedness.
She took away my sight
and filled my ears with the murmuring
of corncrakes, wings whirring,
before she touched me
soft as grass
and spun my mind to drunkenness
on fingers strong as whiskey,
lip's warm as sun on stone.

When I woke to sunlight,
she was gone—
a fading impression on
a hotel pillow
and no other way to remember
her than the name she'd
never given: Ireland,
dark as the soil of
a sidhe-mound, just
as mysterious as happiness.

Deborah J. Brannon is a jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one. By day, she works on her Masters in English Literature at Georgia State University, developing a rhetoric for American mythology and exploring the continuing relevance of fairy tales. By night and day, she writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has appeared in Scheherezade's Bequest (the online magazine of Cabinet des Fées), while reviews she has written have appeared at Green Man Review. In her (seemingly fictional) time off, she dabbles in photography and is a fledgling jewelry-maker. She lives in Kennesaw, Georgia, with her personal historian-cum-husband and two singular cats.

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