Memories of Paris

Broullard sur le Pont-Neuf, Brassaï, 1932



– for Emma and Gabriel

In Paris
my love for him
shone in her Dorset accent
“What is Gabriel like?”
– and I went mute
How curious
Yet today I suture the moment differently
Like an itchy sweater
grown into
like her hand
familiar in mine
fingers kneaded
and laces tied
over restless feet
(more winged
than Mercury’s
bronze sandals)
shuffling about museums
I wrote these words for her
“Make me remember my body.”
How did I know
that her broad shoulders
and his dancing legs
would be mine
only strewn and sinewed
in these lines
Restless feet indeed!
(more winged
than Mercury’s
bronze sandals)
traveled the worldover
And only rarely
in some vertical
and horizontal lines
chance crossing
Nairobi, Sao Paulo, Belgrade
our innocences gone
I wrote these words for him
“With clean hands to love
Would be too much”
But why
Are we like some,
eyes tired
ears dulled
tongues no longer speak us?
Or are these hands
a different age
mapped out
in New York
they dance under the streets
recalling a generation of 20s
so lost
that we are forever looking for it
and looking still
goggled eyes
puffed red faces
wildly playing
trained rhythm
Gabriel’s horn
into another infinity
among too many places
dirty hands
blindly feeling for my arms,
Gauche and Gabriel,
outspread ’round the world



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