Descend lentement le boulevard Saint-Michel en rêvant

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We are walking among the sycamores
you know where we are 

you with your hair parted sharply on the side
me with my dragon shooting water from its mouth 

with our orange sails covering part of the sky
with our rounded doorways and the number 5 


Things founded in 1865, bodies
fallen in 1943, papers, ironwork grilles,

sunspots blocking our view of cyclists,
an octagonal window, a kid in a dirty

black hoodie begging for change.


In the distance the technological achievement
of our century 

The orange-red lights in their green holsters
The church saved at the brink of the secular 


We are carrying six loaves of bread
We have covered the chimneys in greenish mesh 


A boulevard is wide enough to accommodate
people who wander this city asleep 

Prescient Haussmann thought
of everything 

By the time we've crossed
by the time we sit in a café where most 

women are smoking
by the time we read in our guide 

or print instructions from the internet
the conquering angel has stuck 

his spear through the snake
We barely wake up 

We carry our bowls of goldfish
our oxidised copper domes 

our flashing pharmacy signs
our ruins 

up the wide street in our arms


In the dark every
living thing 

and some non-living things
get haloes 

Checkerboard pattern
of what is and what isn't there 

He looks you in the eye and takes
off on his skateboard 

She sets a geranium on the terrace
Tonight a slight wind 

A wall that's decaying
A couple dancing the tango in a park 


I balance my past on my head
a glass cruet of water 

light through a single pane
the ornate shapes of door knockers from the last century 

mannequins in their windows
a dull sky reflected by the zinc below it 

We wake to sleep
We take our waking slow 

You take the number 84
the sheath of concrete roses underneath the cant 

A real rose blooms on a rooftop
I'm holding the spear now, the laurel 

Everything is out of focus
like a tourist's hurried snap 


Just a collection from the roofs.
So many second-hand books, 

girls on bicycles, headlights gleaming
on wet pavement, 

queer boys holding pink tricolors,
barges heard but not seen. 

Just the shape of a face you almost recognize.
Just a tunnel. Just the rain.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015