A son of the men of “E,”
I wait a son.
Names repeated, recreated
over time:
Aed and Edmond,
Ellis, Elmer,
Ellis Sean.
The name of Aed carved on a gate
at Clonmacnois,
Ellis on a stone in Louisburg. And
Ellis Sean, to be.
I wait and smoke, within.
The doctors come and go,
their knives determining
her motherhood,
nativity of Ellis Sean.
The women come and go;
men’s wives give borning
to their coupled fantasies.
I hold the ring I gave her
twisting under my fingertips;
she did not want it off.
Vessel, vassal, virgin queen—
perpetuate this strangeness
that the carving will continue.
Some fashioned prayers,
or hymns of healing,
words from mists
or solid ground,
depending on the
madness of
Au Maoileoin
in their veins. I pray
my love will be
translated through your body,
and their madness.
Aed and Edmond
Ellis, Elmer;
Ellis Sean—we wait a son.
I pray our love
will be translated
through your body.