Every day is moving day in Galway,
but it may not always be a physical thing.
You see, we don't live, we simply nest in fear
that the landlord might suddenly decide to "renovate" again
with as much notice as a suicide bombing,
only for you to see that same room advertised one month later
at double the cost and a new door handle.
It's hard to feel like a person in this city
when you've spent so long being treated like cattle.
Once in a mouldy blue moon, they'll come along
to "inspect" the holding and appear outraged
by the number of glass bottles in the hall
or an old scrape on the kitchen wall,
all the while ignoring the leak in your bedroom ceiling
or the dishwasher that's been broken for a hundred thousand years
at the cost of innumerable cracked and brittle hands.
But the worst part about moving day
is that you know who's truly behind it all.
You see their ugly faces on TV
making speeches in the Dáil.
They pretend to know what it's like,
and some of them even have the nerve to believe it
while owning multiple holiday homes
which they leave vacant for the majority of the year.
Affordable means nothing when the scale slides
forever in their favour. They won't listen to us.
We're too young to know anything,
but should be fit enough to put up with everything.
It's getting old now, Michéal.
I would like a toupeéd lapdance for my trouble.
I would like you to feel ashamed
because the rental market is an awful lot like the top of your skull.
Unfortunate and bald.
Leah Keane is from Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland. She graduated with a BA in English, German and Creative Writing from NUI Galway in 2018, and is currently working as an English language teacher. Her work has previously been published in Poetry Ireland Review, ROPES, Green Carnations and The Stony Thursday Book among others.