Poem of the Week | Cork City 1994 by Denis Mockler

Cork City 1994

By Denis Mockler


He gushed I love you

I thought You don’t even know me, 

but keep doing what you’re doing.

Please don’t stop now.


Afterwards we sat by the window of his bedroom,

drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.  

I wondered would I see him again,  

could feel the interest draining away.  


I couldn’t fool myself,  

once I left I would not return.  

I knew that I would search for someone new 

next time I was in the city.  

I knew I didn’t want him anymore, 

and I knew that he didn’t love me.

It wasn’t love.  


It was what some people called love, 

but I knew in my heart that love was something different.

Love was something out there, somewhere.  

Love was something I hadn’t really experienced yet, not fully.  

I knew that if I found love then everything would change.  


I didn’t find love for a good many years after that, 

a good many bedrooms after that,

a good many awkward kisses goodbye.  


Love wasn’t what I had expected it to be.  

It was bigger than I had imagined, more challenging, more mysterious and painful. 

I didn’t expect it would be painful. 

I didn’t expect it would be so beautiful either. 

It was broader and deeper, and it did change everything,

and even today it keeps changing everything. 

I came to realise that love is a power greater than me.


I think of those nights in Cork city often,

grateful that I had the freedom to pursue love,

and grateful for the people that I met along the way. 

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Cover photo by 2sometravel on Unsplash

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