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  • Flotation Device, and: A Version of Her Suicide: in the North of Ireland
  • Deirdre O’Connor (bio)

Flotation Device

I dreamt my waist got small overnight. My breasts changed too, seemed perky and new hovering

above the slimmer middle of me, a cinched skirt. I was Cocktail Barbie watching TV

during hurricane season: aftermath and forecast, in between. Things could not be told apart.

The screen showed a model island being drowned, muck and pumps. The orange swath of the storm

was the shape my skirt took bogging down, until I changed again, darkened like the black girls

on TV, the doll I’d been to someone cast away, a failed raft, clutched in my own dead hand. [End Page 194]

A Version of Her Suicide: In the North of Ireland

She dreamt her loneliness a loosening flock of starlings over the walled city,

and she, a girl again in hard shoes echoing as she passed

up Waterloo, through Butcher’s Gate, and into

the city’s heart. Soldiers gone, graffiti fading, peace

more or less achieved. And yet the absence of human strife

that she was never a part of ricocheted

amid the architecture, its need to escape upwards.

Maybe she wanted to shake the cobbled order of ground,

so silence could be heard clearly again. More than heard. [End Page 195]

Deirdre O’Connor

Deirdre O’Connor directs the Writing Center at Bucknell University, where she also serves as associate director of the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. Her first book, Before the Blue Hour, received the Cleveland State Poetry Prize and was published in 2002. She is seeking a publisher for a second book manuscript, tentatively titled Notes on Disappearance. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Natural Bridge, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Poetry Daily, and other journals and anthologies.



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pp. 194-195
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