ECT – by Clare McCotter


Back then they thought your head was cut.
Hurtling across the globe
one end’s errand
to see a bird barely bigger than a fly.
And yes, you did
crouched starry eyed in leaf litter
you saw it.
Day breaking over the hills
behind Cárdenas when it first appeared.
Zunzuncito, the bee hummingbird
shimmery and suspended in a bivalve of air.

Later on they knew your head was cut.
How could they not
it was written all over your arms
and breasts and thighs
body turned travelogue
its hieroglyphics deepening
with each chapter.
You got the works: Citalopram
Fluoxetine, Amitriptyline, Mirtazapine.
ECT finally doing the trick.

Electrical storms cooled now to fog
softening the edges
of sodium light, impulses and knives
but not the smell
of sweat on a greasy vest
not the taste
of roll ups on an old man’s breath.
Some things are sharper
in this fog you know will never lift
some, like the bright blue wing of a tiny bird
gone for good.




Clare McCotter’s poetry has appeared in Abridged, Boyne Berries, The Cannon’s Mouth, Crannóg, Cyphers, Decanto, Envoi, The Galway Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Iota, Irish Feminist Review, The Leaf Book Anthology, The Linnet’s Wings, The Moth Magazine, A New Ulster, Panning For Poems, The Poetry Bus (forthcoming), PoetHead, Poetry24, Reflexion, Revival, The SHOp, The Stinging Fly and The Stony Thursday Book. Home is Kilrea, County Derry.

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