The Virgin Tour 1985 by Victoria Nordlund

The Virgin Tour 1985

After listening to 96.5 FM for twelve hours straight,
I won second row seats to Madonna at the New Haven Coliseum.
I still remember the station’s number, (247-9696)
and the yellow princess phone with the cord that stretched
to a white four poster bed with a pink ruffled duvet
covered with Care Bears and Cabbage Patch Kids.
Still remember the ecstasy of hearing the DJ say my name.

I was a junior in high school. No guy had ever
thought to hold my hand, or call me beautiful,
or call me. No boy bothered with the quiet girl
with the half-shaved bob, blue tail, black jelly bracelets,
oversized Benetton sweaters, and combat boots.
I remember wishing someone would pass a folded love
note through the slits of my locker door.

I asked a guy named Jason to go with me.
I remember wishing I didn’t have to call,
to plan my own first date.
And I wondered if he was just saying yes to Madonna.
I don’t remember his face or his last name,
or why my mother trusted him to drive, or what kind of car he drove,
or if we held hands, or any conversation we had that night– or ever–

It was June 3, 1985 and I have this pristine memory:
She was three feet in front of me with her bleached-blonde bed hair,
gold star earrings, lace gloves, white bustier, layers of crucifixes and tulle
all cinched with a boy toy belt—
Writhing on the stage, asking us to marry her,
not caring if we said yes.


Victoria Nordlund’s poetry collection Wine-Dark Sea was published by Main Street Rag in 2020. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize Nominee, whose work has appeared in PANK Magazine, Rust+Moth, Chestnut Review, Pidgeonholes, and elsewhere. Visit her at

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