Dark Star 

by David Underdown

I wish I could remember its name
that small, unremarkable town
down in the stifling South
near Avignon perhaps or Carcassonne—

and only for one night but so hot
that after confit and a whole bowl of cherries
we strolled the streets finger to finger in the dark
returning to the narrow alleyway
to fumble for keys but find the door open
worn wood opening easily
and feel our way up winding stairs
hand by hand on the walls
and at last the tiny room
lit by starlight and through an open window
over undulating roofs—

and when we lay drenched on coarse sheets
amongst discarded blankets, bolsters, clothes
waiting blindly for desire to gather
how that night was
how we imagined it might have been
and broken only by dawn and swallows
and still like the pull of a dark star.

DJU Portrait_edited.jpeg

David Underdown’s poems have appeared in a number of competition anthologies and journals including Assent, Envoi, New Writing Scotland,  and The North. In 2011 his first collection, Time Lines, was published by Cinnamon Press. In 2015 a pamphlet, Nasturtium, was published as part of the Isle of Arran Open Studios project. A second full collection, A Sense of North, will be published by Cinnamon Press in March 2019. Currently he lives partly on the Isle of Arran where he is an organiser of the McLellan Poetry Competition, and partly in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.