At the Grave of Simone de Beauvoir

by Ciara Burke


We found letters, diaries, oddly shaped stones and metro tickets,

novels donated to the dirt,

flowers, some dead, some dried, some still clinging to life,

blue and yellow and dipping their heads like children.

Photographs and people who had only found this place

by wandering the paths through

Samuel Beckett, Serge Gainsbourg,

and your husband, whose name prefaced yours.

I sat before you, eyes swollen, heart hanging out,

lips tucked between my teeth, tight enough to leave a mark

but never

to take blood.

I had nothing to offer but a recitation

of something I had read in one of your books,

about how you came to stay,

of how you were trembling

and your words released you.


Ciara Burke is ‘a self-taught film photographer based in Dublin, working in both 35mm and medium format. She works with in-camera experimentation, particularly film soaking practices, and has been hugely influenced by experimental female artists like Brigitte Bloom, Nan Goldin, Yoko Ono, and Francesca Woodman. She incorporates mixed media elements into her work, bringing drawing, print, alternative process, video and sound elements to my photography.’

You can find more of her work on her website.