Dancing with Paul Durcan


I saw Paul Durcan in The Winding Stair,

fingering a book of love sonnets.

‘Paul,’ I said, ‘your poetry is filthy with longing.’

He said, ‘Would you like to dance?’

So breast to chest we turned a Durcanesque

polka of long poems and harem-scarem

happenings around the bookstacks.

And, oh, the heft of him.

‘I won’t be falling in love with you,’ I said,

‘That’s OK,’ Paul murmured, ‘love’s not

looking for me at the moment. We’ve fallen out.’

Our bodies collided into man-woman as we swung,

our clothes and skin sewn into each other,

our legs a kicking chorus of dance, dance, dance

Paul spun me down the winding stairs

up across the bow of the Ha’penny Bridge,

and, spinning together, all our pages flew.

Nuala Ní Chonchuír

From The Juno Charm, a new collection by Nuala Ní Chonchuír, published by Salmon Poetry