Saturday 6 June 2020

'Vessels' by Bayveen O'Connell

Caro Eduardo,

When you turned to wink at me from the gangway of La Juliana on the quay of A Coruna, my heart’s rhythm changed. I read the resigned look in your open eye and realised your own heart had slowed, not convinced by this Armada folly. In my anger, my blood pulsed in massive waves and I steadied myself against a fisherman’s barrel.  Why didn’t you wear a mask of hope for me, for us? Don the grinning Cigarron mask to fool me into believing you would be back?

I wait for you, sometimes forgetting to breathe, sometimes wishing I had no heart for your absence to twist. Around the tabernas and the back streets where the king’s soldiers loiter, I scavenge for news of you and your ship. Attacks at Calais and a savage storm along Ireland’s west coast is all I’ve heard. Not knowing if you are drowned, captured or free, I send this message in a drained bottle of your favourite vino tinto, Corazon Negro. I drink this wine to remind myself of the fever of our first kiss, our first taste, our first burst of love. 

I, myself, shall be floating and empty until I hear from you.

Amor de mi vida,


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