Kevin Higgins

Life, Death, & the Bit in the Middle

Life is books and underwear all over the floor.
Death is everything in its place.
The bit in the middle is mostly waiting for elevators.

Life is a dog barking all night.
Death goes about its business quietly.
The bit in the middle is mostly waiting for the toaster to pop.

Life is a series of clogged sinks.
Death is absolutely clear.
The bit in the middle is mostly hoping
the doctor will call you next.

Life is a philosophy student tossing a sweet wrapper
into your garden, and later
phoning to claim responsibility.
Death is no sweet wrapper ever.
The bit in the middle is mostly thinking
about the phone call you didn’t make.

Every life is its own particular mess.
Death arrives impeccably dressed.

In 2016 The Stinging Fly magazine described Kevin Higgins as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland.” His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Times (London), Hot Press, Phoenix magazine, The Daily Mirror and on The Vincent Browne Show, and read aloud by film director Ken Loach at a political meeting. He has published five full poetry collections, and a New & Selected, with Salmon Poetry. His sixth collection Ecstatic will be published by Salmon in March.