Neil Slevin, My Curtain

My Curtain

A sweltering summer’s day.
A wall rises by itself,
partitions a rented flat
from east to west.

A stranger greets my arrival,
plays the role of builder,
waves his trowel like a flag,
plasters out the light.

I escape to confinement.

His grunts and sweat and sighs
are the seasons changing
but I sense the sunshine
somewhere outside.

Beyond the wall.
Beyond my feelings, walls
that cry out for freedom
lock me inside myself.

Later, my landlord meets me.

He shakes my hand,
cuffs the wrist I have left,
the one still free of state,
and leaves my divided city,

leaves me to laugh,
jeer in the wake
of what I think
is his mistake.

“Tear down this wall!” Reagan declared,

a command I roar
as I walk mine.
In darkness, always
I make the other side

years late.

Neil Slevin is a writer from Co. Leitrim, based in Galway, Ireland, whose poetry has been published by various Irish publications and numerous international journals, including Scarlet Leaf Review and Artificium: The Journal. His flash fiction appeared in The Incubator. Neil co-edits Dodging The Rain.

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