Edward O’Dwyer

The Proof

after Marine Richard


In the loneliest moments

I will my body

to crumple, fold itself up origami-like,

do it so exquisitely

as to shrink and shrink

and finally vanish, pierce the chink

in the armour of physical law.


The city caused me heart palpitations

and nausea and migraines

and I could take no more,

so I left it behind,

came to a converted barn

with no electricity

in the mountains of southwest France,


where those cellular towers

are far off, where

an electromagnetic signal

hasn’t any business.


There are no emails out here

needing sending, no one asking

for a password for wi-fi,


but I miss Toulouse greatly,

the hubbub of its streets

teeming with people,

the urgency

and impatience of that life,

all its swirls of noise and colour,

all its little validations.


If I go to my door and scream,

no one is going to hear me.

I’ve done it plenty.

Nothing at all will stir,

the wind’s whistle

won’t even flinch.


Each day I go to the mirror

to see that I still exist,

then pass the night

convincing myself

the reflected image

of my body

is the proof.



Edward O’Dwyer has poetry published in journals throughout the world, such as The Forward Book of PoetryPoetry Ireland ReviewThe Manchester ReviewA Hudson View Poetry Digest, and Even The Daybreak – 35 Years of Salmon Poetry. His debut collection, The Rain on Cruise’s Street (2014), is published by Salmon Poetry. The follow-up will appear in April 2017.

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