Napoleon’s Sixth – Aifric McGlinchey

for Micaela, at four


A sugar child

is talking to a gorge

before she populates it:


Zebra is a good name for a zebra.

Five winds are howling

in the cadence of a curtain.


Her palace floats

on oceans of blue

grass, waving at the stars.


Such constellations!

Not forgetting several suns

and twenty seven moons.


Is Napoleon a language?

And now an infant, thin-limbed

and dirty as fantastic


risen Lazarus.

The hot scooter

collects a deepest gosh


of lipstick, heads off

to gallop up

Mount Everest.


* ‘Napoleon’s Sixth’ is a chord progression in music,

considered difficult to play.


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