My name means crown and cloak.
Let me explain how,
When you rest your palms on the cheekbones of my face,
Your fingers, slim and pointed, imitate a crown about my scalp
And how, for the merest of moments,
I am Majestic.
But my ancestors were fighters,
They bled in the grass,
And would wear their victories, skin flayed from bodies,
Draped over their shoulders, ragged bloody filigree trembling in the breeze.
I feel that weight still, and for an eternity
I am Savage.
Ian-John Coughlan is a visual artist and poet currently living in Tokyo. His art has been purchased for the Irish State Art Collection and his poetry has been previously published in Impossible Archetype and Glitterwolf.