Sarah Fletcher 

Madrid Chorus


When he sang, it was with that voice of a thousand hallways, 
That I decorated with paintings and silk furnishings and parrots,
Wine stains on the carpet, and maracas, where we were always
Just missing the other and this carried on for many years.

Dear Sam, I ask you now – did you get from Love 
What you wanted to get from Music? 
The sheer fame of it, and something
That grows sweeter and more painful every time.

How you wanted something pure and clear
As melancholy, like high proof vodka strained twelve times
Through silver mesh…

And then how you might settle for something less:
Alien nausea and literary madness
From a thumb of house red in your glass

But that also never came.

And the pretty barmaid, the one you loved from Oxford,
Eyes off her intellectual, broody duties,
Never returned to ask your order.

Did you get from drinking what you wanted to get from music?
Yes, yes,
More so than love. 
Cheers – it is less painful to think of you as dead – 
The final chorus bellows down the hallway.


Sarah Fletcher is a British-American poet who is currently researching a PhD on pain and expression at Aberystwyth University. Her work has appeared in The Poetry Review, The White Review, Poetry London and other publications. Her third pamphlet, Caviar, was released in March 2022 by Out-Spoken Press, and she is currently working on a novel. She teaches at Aberystwyth University and The Poetry School.

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