this is the view: the Eiffel Tower,
on the hour, doing its silver lamé shimmy.
In the distance, for five minutes, this shrug
against the winter dark. Then we’re back to molten
honeycomb: trysts & tourist parties; picnics on cold stone.
One day in Rue des Deux Ponts, Ile St-Louis,
there’s a patisserie. Heaven in the mouth:
mille feuilles; opéra; everything chocolat.
Next day, desire on the tongue — nothing left.
A black gap, violent as a tooth extracted.
Is it arson? An explosion in the oven? A bomb?
The workmen won’t talk. Between the knife shop
and hole-in-the-wall for ice cream, they start again
from emptiness. It’s common as history here.
Cafes, restaurants, little shops … winter guts them,
then remakes them with a new-old face.
In a certain light, even the Eiffel Tower is just rusty lace.
From this distance, from this street of two bridges,
the mending’s simple: electricity in the night,
an insouciant sparkle against Time.
Before green buds begin on spiked trees, the sky
shrugs down stars. Every hour, on the hour,
a rusty old tower dances, diamantéd, in the dark.
‘Rue des Deux Ponts’ was published in The Canberra Times, 24th June, 2017.
Lovely Jean. Especially like “an insouciant sparkle against Time.”
Thank you, Debbie!
A nostalgic reflection of a setting close to your heart.