Sophie Furlong Tighe
Hatters Manchester, 2019 I am woken —not for the first time in my life—
by breathing and grabbing. I have booked the only female dorm in this hostel
and now it feels like last time. Like why I booked the female dorm. The girl
cups her hand on my cheek and tries to take a chunk out. She is wailing.. The
woman above me who left her rosary beads on our sink pulls her from my bed
get out devil girl, get out from this room. She hurries her from my bed and
reaches for her holy water.
176 Clontarf, 2015 When I am packing for Prague my uncle comes into my
room and asks me if I’d ever seen Hostel II. You know the one, banned in
Germany, where the girls travel to Rome and wake up naked hanging above a
bath. They don’t have baths in the hostels I’m going to. And then the intruder
uses a scythe to collect her blood and I think he rapes her I’m not sure how it
ends. Do you know it, I think so, he laughs.
Hatters Manchester, 2019 I am still rocking when the Australian woman
who thinks she is helping comes back from checking on her. Emma, Emma,
she had a seizure, as if she fucking knows her. Should I get her medication? It’s
in her bag. Can someone else do something, please. When the paramedics come
I am the only one not standing.
Hostel Ananas Prague, 2015 I don’t know if I can call this man an intruder,
I invited him in. He didn’t try for a chunk of me until he knew I couldn’t grab
or yell, knew I had no rosary beads. He was gone when I woke up, leaving a
knot of my hair in the base of the sink.
Sheila’s Cork, 2019 I wake up on a bottom bunk at four in the morning and
the door has been left open. It stretches against the rest of the darkness. Yellow
light pours in, only hitting my bunk. I stand up to close the door and travel
through it instead, looking for another world.
Kinlay Cork, 2018 But I can not say the word hostel without telling you
about the other boy, the boy who took me to an empty six-bed in Cork. Who
touched my face, wouldn’t pull my hair, paused when I winced. Sometimes I
think I should stop thanking men for the bare minimum, to stop coming for
the words, can I? But in that big room with those small beds, with so much of
him inside so little of me, I reach for the sky to find only the metal rails under
the top bunk, made for my fingers to hook around.
Sophie Furlong Tighe is a Drama and Theatre Studies student at Trinity College Dublin. She was once a slam poet, a twice winner of Slam Sunday, and a finalist in the Dublin Grand Slam. Now she writes things on pages, and has been published in Not Where I Belong and Dodging The Rain, with work forthcoming in Vagabond City Lit. You can find her at twitter.com/furtiso.
Did mothers always try to press on their daughters the itineraries of which they
themselves had dreamed? -The Year Of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
I almost drop the book,
Pages fly shut through my shaking hands.
Across the table my mother stares
Out the train window. I match
Her gaze and my mind reels,
Wildflowers and hills fleeing far
Too quick to focus, my eyes scatter,
My soul sinks back through the cushioned seat
Up into the scattered air. I fix on a hawk,
Unmoving on the highest branch, ready to snap
Its beak, shred tomorrow with a single talon.
I will see him again when the train stops, watch
Ticks, lights flash and my head snaps
Shut. I misplaced my agenda but my mother
Will gladly read me hers. I feel the press
Of plans but I will not hear her words.
She asks where I am headed and the movement
Of my feet will be the only answer.
Kate O’Donnell is completing her studies in Poetry and Sociology at Northwestern
University. While born and raised in Chicago, she has always felt most at home in the
mountains or at sea. She can be found on Twitter @kate1od.
—& think of wilderness how it has suffered.
pushing through skin; a spine
Eyes as lilies in the valley watching
in other eyes. Holding out their cups
of the old tongue. Not ruined temples, just
these clay hands. A mortar
& pestle. Moss. Milk-
Audrey Gidman is the 2018 recipient of the Elyse Wolf Prize and author of the chapbook, body psalms, forthcoming from Slate Roof Press. Her work can be found in Q/A Poetry, mutiny! magazine, Confrontation, Slippery Elm, The Rush, and elsewhere. She received her BFA from the University of Maine Farmington. Instagram: @audrexe