by John Burnside
I was marking a stack of essays
on Frank O'Hara
and each had a Wiki-
paragraph to say
who Genet was, and who
was Billie Holiday
– just as this poem stumbles to its end, predictably
remembering the cold December night
I slow-danced with Annabelle Gray to 'I'd Rather Go Blind'
at the Catholic Club Xmas Party,
trees lit with frost outside and cherry-coloured
streetlamps round the playground at Our Lady's,
and here and there, on windows dark with soot
our blurred reflections, sightless in the glass
yet guiding each other, soundlessly, into the sway
of the future, almost swooning from the close
proximity of skin
and muddled breathing.
• From All One Breath (Cape £10). To order a copy for £8 with free UK p&p go to guardianbookshop.co.uk or call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846.