‘Kiss me
before the light fades
into the dream of what once was’
she pleads.

Kiss him
and fall,
and then look for him, let her look for him,
falling through the fine hold of false hope
as he moves off
to twist through other sheets.

Kiss him
and he is gone
evaporated in a lips touch
not a minute more than much
and yet she looks for him
she still looks for him
as if his breath were traceable
as if his touch was reachable
as if his promise
was trustable

Kiss him
but once
and watch her fall,
like the dream of what once was,
lost in a single kiss
drowning in dreams that follow
as he moves on
to other dreams
to shatter
with that same kiss.

‘Kiss me,’ she pleads
as the dream finds light and bleeds
onto the folds
in the empty space
on the bed
beside her.

All Words by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:


Michael was 18 and wore yellow trainers.
He had dark curly hair which he hated.
He had his whole life planned out.

Kathy was 17 and was happy to be in his plans.
She wore skirts in winter and pants in summer.
She liked gum, strawberry gum and Michael.

He’d kissed her at Becky’s birthday party, three years ago.
On the back porch.
On the cheek.
She’d blushed.

He was her hero, first.
He wanted to protect her from everything.

But when Michael discovered the army, Kathy broke it off.
She hadn’t realised his plans could make her a widow.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly