365 Poems/78 A Night In January (Rough first draft)

A Night In January

I am hot with nerves,

like I’ve contracted a fever

in the ten minutes since

you let me inside your home.


I am alone with your world

while you put the kettle on.

I can hear your Dad chucking a bucket

of damp coal on the fire.

It crackles and pops as it settles.


When you come back,

your mouth is sticky and

tastes of golden syrup.

You go red, say you’ve had a

tablespoon straight from the tin.


Outside, it’s snowing. We try

to concentrate on the task

at hand. Your fingers are at my hips,

I have one hand lightly on your shoulder.

I want to increase the pressure.


But your curtains are open, and we

have a tendency to lose our concentration.

We flit back and forth to the window

to watch the snow and the changing light,

while the tea goes cold in the cups on the floor