Michael Sharkey Poems

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The Paradise Flick

How do we know Eve and Adam were happy,
deprived, as they were, of a childhood?

Eve never knew, unlike Adam, a world
that was free of the chatter of others.'

Imaginary Countries: The Real World

In the real world
lovers part at morning with a kiss
and look back longingly
before they pass from sight.

The Good Life When It Happens

Postcards from museums make it seem that you exist,
but never here.

I thought I saw you going undercover
years ago: the scent of lucerne, freshly mowed
hung in the orchard where I walked to pilfer limes.

Eating Sin

A man began to eat his order of fish, and the ghost of the fish arose and spoke. Forgive me, it said, please hear me. I died in despair,

Without You

In each photograph I see
what captured me
when I first looked at you
and saw

Look, he said

Look, he said,
I've been writing stuff for the past four years
& I've done about six hundred poems
& all I can manage is get them in the local


The beautiful girl on the bus
wears a jacket that comes from a sheep
that was raised on a farm


When it came through the door
I knew what it was.

'I'll have that,' it said,

After Cavafy

When I was twelve the undertaker came up
from the corner: 'Something special, come and see.'

The corpse was Italian,

Get Age

You too can have flaking skin,
lank hair and
trembling hands and
glassy eyes

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