Neil Banks lives in Bray, County Wicklow. His poems have appeared in The Stinging Fly and Shot Glass Journal. His fiction has been published by New Irish Writing (The Sunday Tribune), RTÉ Radio, and others.
One night, not long after they'd met
and he still couldn't really believe
she was real, he discovered
in her buttock - the left one –
a penny-sized dimple and, just
north of it, an ink-black tattoo,
half an inch wide and twice as long.
It was a swallow, a swallow
in flight, aiming north-northwest,
and one night not long after that
it was revealed that she herself
had flown away in quite the same
direction, back from whence she came.
Crushed as he was to be so left he let himself
take solace from the notion that swallows
and such do only that which Nature bids.