Nessa O'Mahony is the Editor of the Dublin Writers Workshop

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Night Sounds

The night I woke,
tense with waiting
for a fumbled lock,
for every engine throb
of taxis emptying
out their fares
or squealing past–
a single bird
roused querulously
as you thumped
up the stairs.

A few weeks on,
listening one more time
to your heavy drone,
the ragged rhythm
of your breath
catching the throat–
I squirm round,
praying for one deaf ear
in the greying light
as another bird
dryly sang the dawn.

Last night,
the only sound –
the bedside clock
keeping time
with my own breath
while the birds
slept on.