Mudlark Flash No. 117 (2017)

Billets Doux
by Aidan Rooney


How I would love so much 
to breathe your mountain air. 
You say you miss me but I miss you more. 
It wasn’t the same at the hospital today
now that you have gone back far. 

I will never be far.
You have only to ring me and I will be there. 
I hope to see you again soon. I want your snow.
Carry yourself well and take care. 
Sleep well above all. 

Thank you for thinking of me above all. 
When I was with you it was my first work.
Not long ago I thought even God doesn’t see me.
I hope to work soon since I feel free working. 
I wish you an agreeable day, my dear.

Your advice to me is dear. 
You are not leaving me tonight:
you are just going away a while. 
Hug for me those close to you 
although they do not know me. 

It seems to me that you know me.
Your coucou this morning made me laugh. 
I do not want to bother you often 
for fear you’d feel the need to answer. 
I will be wise like an image.


My battery is up, my friend, 
and the electricity is down again,
but leave me still your message.
I will have the pleasure of reading it 
under the diamond light of the stars. 

I like to feel the vigor of the stars. 
The night sky is a corner I escape to.
I open my mouth to see the future.
You did not see it but I was desperate.
One more time, bisous.

A moonlight kiss. I kiss you 
one hundred times plus one. 
I would love to see the world. 
Maybe you can bring just my eyes with you.
I thought about you the whole day.

Good day, my friend. Know that not a day
goes by that I do not think of you.
I beg you never leave my heart alone.
I spend my day checking my messages
hoping for just one coucou from you. 

I kiss you and hope it draws a smile from you. 
A smile from you would melt my heart.
I am happy I am missed by you.
Sleep well, my dear. A big hug.
My land misses you like water.


It is morning for me also. 
I have closed the doors to the house
and have only books and pen for friends. 
I am tired of the glimmer of despair 
outside in the eyes of the young.

I love books but here the young
choose careers based not on interest 
but stability. I find in you that friend
who can light the rude path. Goodnight.
Bisous. Your words are the best gifts. 

I have never received a gift.
Or post. That I count makes me smile
like never. To send a book would be hard.
Addresses here are complicated
because of how the houses are disposed. 

Tonight I deposit 
a kiss of friendship on your cheek. 
Please do not let go my hand.
Tell me that I will see you soon.
I hug you hard, tender friend.

I have to go get water, dear friend. 
Anyway, I have no more battery. 
I will copy the Baudelaire onto a page
to have it more often under my eyes
and not go through your messages.


Sometimes I break my head
to comprehend your words. 
I would pay blood to leave this labyrinth. 
To stay, as you say, as I am 
is to stay weak, to stay with fear. 

Tonight you calm my fear. 
Your words are like a fine rain 
that falls on every flower of my day. 
It is as if you understand me 
as much as or more than I do. 

No one needs you more than I do.
Today it is so hot we suffocate.
I would love so much to find myself
in the cold with you beneath covers,
your body close to mine. Are you leaving?

Ouf, relieved. I did not want you to leave
and my imprudence be the fault. 
I love you much, you know.
Your whenever you want will take some time.
I will come to you in your dreams. 

Coucou! Last night, you visited my dreams. 
I have gone over the unedited pages 
of our intimate journal. 
You are more intimate to me 
than you could ever imagine.


Your words for you and I,
our I-don’t-know, tear at my spirit.
Why do you have to kill the joy
by talking about the differences? 
Goodnight, my dear. Sleep well. 

I have a fever and did not sleep well.
You will not have to send your cold cloth caresses. 
When you get home I will be waiting for you 
on the bed with an embroidered sheet.
You will take my hot and hold me close to you. 

Me too, I want you close to me. 
I have limited myself till now
to watching you behind glass.
I have the desire to touch you tonight
but the fear of breaking everything.

To me you are everything. 
I am letting go your hand 
to caress and kiss your neck.  
It is to dare, my dear, my secret,
my buried dream, my promised land. 

No more distance, no more rules. Promise. 
I take you in my heart and in my body. 
We will go where languages end
and visit the country of stars.
You will take me by the hand.

Aidan Rooney was born in Monaghan, Ireland, in 1965 and educated at Maynooth College, National University of Ireland. Since 1988, he has taught at Thayer Academy and lived in Hingham, Massachusetts. A past winner of the Guinness Literary Award and the NY Yeats Society  Competition, he received the Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Poet in 1997. His collections, Day Release (2000) and Tightrope (2007), are published by The Gallery Press in Ireland. Widely published in Europe and North America, his work has appeared in various anthologies—Staying Alive (Bloodaxe) and 180 More (Random House) among them—and recent poems have appeared in The Lonely Crowd (UK), Carte Blanche (Québec) and Post Road (US). Billets Doux, as well as Rooney’s 2011 Mudlark Poster (No. 91), Posts, is included in Rooney’s forthcoming collection, Go There.

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