The Dancer

by Cabrini Cahill

Fire in the head,
she sees red.
Dublin is alight
she’s whirling,
turning on the fulcrum
of self
weighting through the toe
neck soft, head low
arm to the west: far right
arm to the east: far left
tongue to cleft
Sufi-like, surfing space round her
tiniest wave in vast ocean
embodying her prayer
for boys, not yet men
Burning cars, busses and tram
Riot, inflaming space round them
tiniest flame in the fascist game.

A hAon.
A Dó.
A Trí.
Our law has come,
bashing Gardaí for fun.
The Others.

Her eyes balance
a horizon beyond fingertips,
quietest lips.
Joining the world as it really is
lazy politics
Dehumanising poor
spinning more
in a country where strangers are only friends you haven’t met
and then
When all is danced and done
there is no Other.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author.