Unheardwords of Writers of Colour

Bradford 1968 - Sheree Mack

Shared: Bradford 1968

To the Black Diamond night club
on the corner of Manchester Road and Croft Street,
you bring a silent predatory style to salt
this razor-sharp scene,
in your smooth blue suit, gaberdine material,
slightly speckled
after a short evening shower,
charming your sinewy bones.

To the Black Diamond night club,
with bones jangling,
you come with a friend, hugging the corner,
rearranging your full pink skirt,
shot through with speckles
of silver thread, you bring
a certain kind of freshness to the material
of this place, a quality that irritates other women
like grains of salt.

The Black Diamond night club
looks like it isn’t worth salt;
around for years, with its chipped tables
and bony stools.
Pulling in punters with thumping bass
and seamless vibes, material
heard nowhere else in the coloured crowd.
Entwining bodies in corners,
accepting what small pleasures it brings,
as the spinning glass ball,
throws out lights in speckles.

Across the darkened room,
you see each other as speckles of light
fizzing like stars in the cool night sky, salty
beads of anticipation coat your top lip, bringing
goose bumps to your flesh and
a weakness to the bone.
You look again, out the corner
of your eye,
longer this time
as if really experiencing the feel of material.

Just as buds are blossoming,
this is movie material.
It’s love at first sight,
not on the grey speckled screen,
but playing out in real life,
in a small corner
of this city,
which built its wealth on salt
mines, deep white seams like bones.
You move from your side of the room,
not sure what this will bring.

To the Black Diamond night club,
you bring no expectations
as they are immaterial,
but tonight as you two talk,
the core of your bones sing.
In a short time, you write letters, speckles
of confetti as white as salt,
as your heart, once a cage in search of a bird
is cornered.

© Sheree Mack, July 2005 (all rights reserved)

In 2005 Sheree was writer-in-residence at The Lit and Phil in Newcastle