Steve Denehan

Doubled Over
For Auntie Ellen

Childhood would have been halved
without her
in the velvet dark of the cinema
perched on the edge of our seats
fistfuls of popcorn frozen in the air
as we watched, unblinking
small aliens
enormous explosions
cars chasing
buildings falling
twice, if we wanted to

she would take us to Burgerland on O’Connell Street
long since gone
and we would gorge on milkshakes and
chips and
chips and
and salt, so much salt
and I remember those nights
perched on the edge of the bed
doubled over
trying to burst the ball of pain in my stomach

I watch her now with my daughter
the eighty years between them
the light
just the same


Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. Recent publication credits include The Irish Times, The Phoenix, The Blue Nib, The Opiate, The Hungry Chimera, Evening Street Review, Ink in Thirds, Crack The Spine and The Cape Rock.  He has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and his chapbook, “Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong” is available from Fowlpox Press.

Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah

—Of God’s Twitter Handle. 
Brother, you’ve submerged yourself from heaven’s gawking of your name. Breathing a song here. Writing a verse there. Throwing your weight after drone survey and every lesson learnt after downloading a portrait of yourself from the internet. 

Heaven is calling you from the rigorous pulsation of your mother’s hefty heart beats. Today isn’t your birthday, /& though many moons have fallen from the clouds, that isn’t your fault or god’s plan like Drake’s pierced tongue frosting mirages of boys rising through the tide on this isle of their mother’s tears. 

I ask, if ever I’ve been known. If ever I’vent been pained. If ever I’m looking for what you too have been been searching for. Too much pain inside this body’s accordion. So many voices tearing this eardrum apart. 

Everyday, I see nightmares flicker through dead cells. I inch towards dilemma. I take to my phone’s recorder and I spread my tongue on it like there’s no tomorrow //(&) if there be another day, maybe this anonymous voice note shall be computed into the tenacity call of those who lived without a trail. 

But I’m not ashamed of my body’s pursuit in darkness. Of the way years turn into wine inside my head & [or] how time takes to the course of plastic surgery. 

Maybe we’re just a constellation of god’s filter on instagram stories waiting to be promoted to reach a targeted audience. 

/& Just maybe, we’re memes on God’s Twitter handle: “God does not actually live here”.



Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah is a Ghanaian Smartphone Enthusiast //& Content Critic. He’s the Poetry Editor at Lunaris Review (a Journal of Arts & the Literary, Nigeria) & the Creative Director at The Village Thinkers (a Creative Writing & Performing Arts Society, Ghana). The 2018 Shortlisted Poet for African Writers Awards has had his works anthologized/&[or] publicized in reputed literary volumes: EXPOUND, Whispers, NovelMasters, Kreative Diadem, Anansekrom, VisualVerse, Gnosis Magazine, Tuck Magazine, The Liberian Literary Magazine, etcetera.