It takes ten thousand hours to shine at anything.
And if we haven’t spent night after night on the Reeperbahn
cranking our act so tight it stood up all by itself and walked,
we’ve come close, but we still fall flat.
We sweat inside our Sullivan suits. The early set is hell:
each song like a crackerjack firework, jettisoning its effects
inside its white-hot flurry of minutes then cutting out.
We can hear the gap — by a bit, by a notch, by a semi-step,
by a skip in the heart we can’t fix — no matter the hours
the prayers the floral tributes the slow dispensing of oil
at its feet. It’s a rainy January night in Belfast.
I need to tell my son when I see him about the lights
of another ferry across from ours on the journey over
like we were two boats holding hands.