A sterile night in January,

Was when I heard you sing,

Your low voice filtering the darkness

From a dim-lit bar,

The walls sepia-framed with the

Thrum of Madonna’s

‘Papa Don’t Preach’

To heads half-turned in the gloom,

Half-planetary imitations

Of the universe condensed

To a shaded set

Centring around a different kind

Of star


I felt I was the only listener,

Or should have been

I wanted the rest of them

To disappear like the snow,

Melting despite the cold,

On the pub’s front steps

As they ran in rivulets home

From the freeze

When the bell for last orders

Had long since chimed


Instead I asked you to

Join me in a smoke

With knees weak

At your song’s invocation

And we huddled, close as we might

Through clouds of nicotine,

For warmth in the 2D board

Of deep winter’s monochrome,

The applause subtle and quiet


Months from then,

I tune the station as we cook,

Static peppering the charts

And our food chanting steam

In a hot pan over

A high flame;

 I imagine announcing

My love live on a radio stream,

An incantation you’ve spoken to life,

Added to plates we dance to tables,

Autographed on forks and knives



Amber R Walker, Hull, Creative Writer, Bookmaker, Lover of art

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