Neil Slevin, Breathe, Remember

Neil Slevin is a writer from Co. Leitrim, Ireland whose poetry has been published widely. Four of these poems feature in his work-in-progress chapbook, Inhaling Silence. You can read more of Neil via


That space where
your skin and hair
become my light and dark,
where we create
our galaxy of stars;
stay with me,
keep me there.


I promised you
I’d speak as Gaeilge
so I took a stranger’s words inside,

held each one close to my chest,
filled them with love
then let them float

into the Galway air.


You wandered in
to sit at my feet,
didn’t make a sound,

so when I looked
about for hope, I saw
you on the ground.

You stayed with me
and my silence, and I,
not daring to move,

I sat with you
for as long as I could,
knew that we were love.


(After Mezzaniti)

They all slept here, once,
between the crook
of my arm and body

while I lay awake afraid,
too unsure and lost in new
for sleep to find me

so while body rested
mind roamed free
the waiting night,

its shadowed soul,
but where it went
I do not know,

only that it would
meet and greet them
when it came home,

when morning dawned
for them to leave me.
I sleep alone.

Breathe (I Remember)

How our silence swelled
into a bubble I could’ve
stayed forever in as
the noise of life
went on outside,
everything lost
in your glow,

as the sense of
what you knew but
didn’t realise yet
set you ablaze
and I basked in the
warmth you gave away,
joyous just to be

and breathe,
only a little scared
I might do something
to disturb all the bits
and pieces of universe
that had conspired
to make ‘us’;

how if I could choose
from all the moments
I’ve lived to this,
I would pick that
to live again,
die happily at
its end.


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