9:1: “Autocannibalism: Not a Love Poem”, by Liz Bourke

9:1: “Autocannibalism: Not a Love Poem”, by Liz Bourke
19-07-07

You were a voyager
in interstellar darkness
the first time we met;
dark matter in your eyes,
light of distant galaxies
made flesh in the hard metal
of your carapace –
your hair a comet-trail
vanishing beyond the moon.

Our joined hands engendered
starless supernovas.

I was still young then
and caught like a fish on a harpoon
I would have followed you,
but you left too soon.

The tragedy is
we eat
bits of ourselves:
memories, dreams.
Limbs.

The second time,
there was less
of me –
and I couldn’t love you.

At least
not for free.


Liz Bourke was born in Dublin, Ireland, where she still resides. When not suffering from attacks of poetry and prose, she studies ancient history at Trinity College. She says:

I wrote “Autocannibalism: Not a Love Poem” shortly after discovering the word ‘autocannibalism’ for the first time. Eating oneself is a powerful idea (not to mention a useful metaphor), and after I knew the title, the rest of the poem just fell into place.



2 Responses to “9:1: “Autocannibalism: Not a Love Poem”, by Liz Bourke”

  1. Donna Fox says:

    The imagery in the beginning pulled me in, but wow, the ending…wonderful! I’ve enjoyed reading it several times.

  2. jon Lyndon says:

    “light of distant galaxies
    made flesh in the hard metal
    of your carapace ” This interstellar-supernova poem rocks! W/ that brutal, brilliant beautiful autocannibalistic ‘love bites’ harpoon. Tragic, inventive & w/ a clever twisted twist of an end. Who says the bite of love cannot be heard in space?

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