A voice I heard across the room for common
Convivial cacophonous conversation:
A deep boomy wave, rolling rumbling at
Home in my inner monologues as though
It had belonged to me all along.
The vibrations of recognition so
Subtle and mysterious that I had
To lift my eyes from my text of intellect
And turn right in direction of the source
Of aural delight–ten feet away in
A crowded circle of boys and men all
Gathered in concentrated watching while
Dissecting with knowledge induced or gained
Of a game of eleven versus eleven-
Fleeting finicky feats of feet – a ball
Pressurised by air inside and, outside
Expectations-kicked. A humorous attempt
Or a cynical comment made, the man
Who owned the voice distracted me.
The others, also new to the bondage
Of commonality surprised at the gesture
Of sharing and sparring suitably followed.
My eyes did not leave the man’s profile though
now the voice had merged into the banter.
The man with David’s hair and Julius’ nose,
A firm jaw to sustain a smile that reached
His eyes – a blue of the Mediterranean
That changed with the changing lights,
But constantly refreshing.
Knowing the spreading satisfied smile I
Did not want to hear him, see him, know him
But I needed to, like the air that evening –
It felt less dense now, but more foreboding.
He would never know me. I could tell a
Hemingway man with his beer and buddies,
Wearing the minimum necessary.
Perchance if he caught my eye I could confess
To him that he was beautiful and kind.
Oh how naïve I sound! So many years
Of ill-decisions and there still seemed to
Be a common room for a flirtation.
But, love did so wrangle my breath and he
Made it so. Few days of chance run-ins in
Other common spaces, only some contrived –
We went from six degrees of separation
To one to none. Now, seven years later –
Of seeing, wanting, needing, knowing more;
As romance turned to regular weekdays;
As we grew up together and agreed less;
Of having everything in common except
That darn insipid game of running afield –
He looks at me as I recount that even-
Ing of love at first sight in the common
Room and he smiles that same smile, now with added
Lines of jocular memories; with those
Blue eyes with physical signs of radiance
Etched into his skin (and how happily I melt)
Looking at me, he says with the same voice,
“See hon! You should be grateful I watch football.”