Seanín was first published on Poethead and featured on the inaugural Poetry Jukebox, based at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, in 2017. Her work has been published widely online and in print – everywhere from Banshee and The Stinging Fly to Abridged. Seanín was shortlisted for the 2018 Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing, and published her debut chapbook, Little Deaths, with Smithereens Press in 2019. She's currently studying literature at University of Ulster and working on her first full collection.
I Want You To Know
That You Are Alive
The natural law is that sometimes,
this must hurt. You will find yourself
hurled headlong into a mound of salt,
skin raw, inside out. And you will know, then,
what it means to be the wound—
what it means to learn how to breathe
through it all.
Know that it is a bravery to live
at full capacity; fill each lung
with equal measure of dark and light.
Drink every cup dry.
Know that nothing is ordinary,
and all things are temporary—
we can never outrun this bittersweet truth.
But here’s the secret: we can stop,
for a moment, and taste it,
unafraid of the sting. It’s easier
when you know it’s coming;
when you lean into the fall, go limp,
and let the cushion of your knowing
absorb the impact. You will heal
again and again, until.
The Long Bones
Bring to us your blackest dog,
your tightrope mania, your voices and visions;
lay them on the table lengthways.
We'll measure your madness,
convert it to voltage. Be still.
Bite down. Listen
when we tell you, we’ve come a long way
from fractured femurs, cracked vertebrae.
Here. This holds the chemistry
to heavyweight your limbs from within;
no restraint necessary. Bite down, now.
Be a good girl. Slight risk of trauma
to teeth or tongue while you sleep,
but we promise, this will eat the pain.
Yes— on waking, you may forget
your name, the year, or
how you came to be here—
but your bones will remain intact.
They’ll hold you together safely
until the world comes back.
The Birds Are Silent
& then the lights go up to reveal
it all— the beat of fist-deep purple
in every chest a tremolo,
each knot of bone wet with blood,
bodies upon bodies sharing
the same wild shake,
a writhe of hot molecules. We know
the truth now on this godless tilted spin
around the sun, dancing ourselves
into frenzied circles:
the end is here, and all the birds
All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb