Happy Boy

by Jake Hawkey

A friend sends me a picture of his face
gashed after a stag do scooter ride;
I instruct him to tell his lightweight loves

Cologne glistens & so, taking it upon himself, 
he kissed its pavements! If you were diving
to your death in a silver bullet airplane

would you kiss the person beside you,
holding their hand, even if they had kids
or a spouse two rows in front?

On the day you die I like to think flowers
are delivered to the lobby of your heart
letting you know it will be your last

& if you’ve picked up the calls from God 
or from pure goodness itself,
the message is slicker than silk, a snowball

hitting my mother’s kitchen window
as she pours glasses of milk for the boys
of the neighbourhood, out of breath.

Mercy is somehow older than the hills
though each of us meets it alone, anew.
Oh, I’ll wear my best smile.

Jake Hawkey studied art at the University of Westminster and poetry at Queen’s University Belfast. He was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2020 and is currently a poetry PhD candidate at Queen’s.

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