New poem from Michael McKimm

I saw Michael reading this at The Shuffle recently and am thrilled to be able to post it here



Because we could not dance at the wedding

– a ceilidh, designed for men and women,
not the usual disco in the dark –
the second you’ve one foot into the hushed
hotel room I take your right hand in my left,
place my other on your waist, and we move,
slowly, a waltz, three short steps between
the bed and wardrobe, then a crisp turn
past the television. I’ve got you, you’ve
got me. Within a minute we work our way
up to a be-bop, clumsy, in the bathroom,
out again to the chest-of-drawers, such
a room you couldn’t swing a cat in, but
you swing me and I laugh like tin pipes.
If they could see us now, half-cut on
smoky Ardbeg, exhausted, staggering,
my love we’d cause a sober brawl all right.
Earlier today I saw you from below,
as if all through the hymns and speeches
I was buried, grounded, my limbs
constricted – but now I’m level-headed
with your head, your waltzing eyes, your smile,
your breathing slow, deep, keeping time.

I have always believed in a god who dances.

Michael McKimm was born in Belfast in 1983, graduated from the Creative Writing Programme at the University of Warwick in 2004 and won an Eric Gregory award in 2007. His website is here

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