Feargha DeCléir NíChíannaigh
Feargha DeCléir NíChíannaigh is a writer and filmmaker from Dublin. She can be found on YouTube and Substack under the name ThePrimeOfLife, or on the sofa eating pasta with her partner who she loves a lot.
We arrive and the papers are about death.
The queen of somewhere, and
the king of mid-century french cinema, and
the city is old and mystical and strange.
It’s telling us that we are young,
that time is being handed to us on an old ceramic saucer.
I came here to be just like Aunt and Uncle,
Their youths in the bars and the rings,
hitchhiking around the dusty, cropless hills,
and on to Venezuela, to Nicaragua.
I know their stories by heart and furnish them
with images gleaned from mid-century cinema.
Revolutionaries, hair, that sort of thing.
I arrive and the papers are about death and
on uncle there lies a speck,
somewhere invisible to the naked eye,
deep in the warm centre, poisoning,
pulling back to the earth.
And I am young, hallelujah, and
nobody told me that youth was theft, and
a city is a stolen thing, and
life is just a sojourn if it’s anything at all. And
the very decades it took for me to become just like Aunt and Uncle shall take them back,
making them less themselves, piece by piece, city by city.
We walk through the stone streets,
bathe in the sounds, and
you love eternity, you understand it.
The impenetrable old stonework,
The cloth. But
I love spirits and gods and timelessness.
I believe in the instant.
I do not yet know that I will die.
And the moors and the christians and the kings laugh like a greek chorus, and
I hate their laughter though I know it’s what brought me here. The mystery of it all.
(Hideous, cruel, absurd, euphoric, and
Blink- and I will be old and telling tales of Granada,
and of Uncle.
And I will fade slowly into the purple night like the wilting flowers whose decline starts
just as the fresh-faced students begin another year of becoming.
and the dead queen’s empire will have finally crumbled,
and our love will be remembered in our poems,
if at all.
And mid-century cinema,
will live forever.