Phase Three Friendship. A poem for Cassie by Emily Cullen

Up until this we sat outdoors
under the slender overhang

chucking stems of cherries
and caper berries into sodden

grass with abandon; turning
blind eyes to downpours

shivers of late-June Rahoon
this bat-shit crazy cocoon

with red wine and a frisson
of Wicklow blue at your

new IKEA trestle table.
Social restrictions are lifting.

In an unseasonable chill, you bid
me indoors. There are two Persian

rugs on your floor; books by Pynchon,
a guitar, banjo, mandolin; coasters

of Mucha’s flowery women and I get
why we were drawn for a coffee

on the eve of lockdown, after
that routine committee meeting.


Emily Cullen is a Galway-based writer, curator, harper and scholar. She has published three poetry collections, Conditional Perfect (Doire Press, 2019), In Between Angels and Animals (Arlen House, 2013) and No Vague Utopia (Ainnir Publishing, 2003). Conditional Perfect was included in The Irish Times’ round-up of “the best new poetry of 2019”. Emily was Director of Galway’s Cúirt International Festival of Literature between 2017 and 2019 and she currently teaches creative writing at NUI Galway. She blogs occasionally at Things Being Various (

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