In the shadows not yet departed
from former students, since departed,
in confined compartments the Polish left to the Irish,
red vinegar wine (as vulgar as the vultures
who drowned in its deluge) caught itself in corners
still not drunk by the blow-ins still bleating
about the burnt beef and sodden soil
as we made smoke chains in our simple chambres
to choke a distance between the homes we’d left
and those hands that hadn’t yet let us go.

We may have been from the same barrel born
but we had desires to be labelled in better bottles.


All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

 This month is about looking back to move on, I started out living, for two months, in the residence of the Irish College, on rue des irlandais in 1997 where I met Mary, still dear friends, and we felt like the only two who wanted to live and breathe and taste Paris while all the other students, studying french history and language, missed the well cooked steaks and wild weather. We were outsiders from the outset.

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