What Happened to Us

Author | Stephen Byrne


to you?
I smashed my body into pieces,
leaving a lump on your tongue to dissolve
& slip down your throat
so you could speak me.

Time & time again
glaring at the glass of your eyes
searching for that something,
that flicker of light
that once burned for me.

Though my dignity
sank deep beneath the earth,
beneath your skin, your thighs, your feet,
you kept it, smashed it
with the whip of your tongue,

chomping my bones with your teeth
‘till I collapsed clutching your knees
begging for forgiveness
for nothing, love, for
nothing,

your body stiff
facing towards the sea,
your arms folded
around your breasts
your silence-
that silence, that perfect pair of silent wings

you wrapped around my broken bones,
suffocating me, suffocating us -
harsh, 
exhausting, 
wounding.

You gave no answers as to why?
Only a fist full of water,
punching open my parched lips,
drowning the man who loved you.


About the Author | Stephen Byrne is an Irish chef and writer currently living in Chicago. His first collection ‘Somewhere but not Here’ won the RL Poetry Award, 2016 International category. He has been published worldwide in places such as Warscapes, Indian Review, Tuck Magazine, Poets Reading the News, Rise Up Review, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology and many others. He is the food writer for ‘This is Galway’ website.