Surrender by Stephen Byrne

 (Dedicated to the 500+ yearly suicides in Ireland)


Let’s say you have given all,

that time offers no truce.


& all that is left to give,

is a slice of your body, shaved


into ribbons, served in portions

to birds. Let’s say it’s her soft voice


bashing against your skull, or the calm

murmur of the river that begs


your surrender. Suppose you listen,

& the night above the bay


carves open the sea to offer a last

supper of salt & seaweed, so the boy


can drown with a full belly. You will not

be the first, nor the last to serve


up a slice of body. So you search

for answers, cutting away the bruises


from the fist of the morning that

dragged you here to kneel by the water’s


edge, a boy, lost & barefoot,

ready to walk across water.


Stephen Byrne is a chef, poet and food writer living in Galway. He has been published in Warscapes, Tuck Magazine, A New Ulster, Skylight 47, Indian Review, RædLeafPoetry-India, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology and others. His forthcoming book 'Somewhere but not Here' won the RL Poetry Award, 2016 International category. He is the food writer for This is Galway and also writes at his site

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