You have witchcraft in your lips…
– William Shakespeare
Today, Paris is plum-blossom and Latin
waiters on cigarette-breaks; boats
lurch on the Seine. He photographs the sun
sitting on a distant roof while Veronique
fishes in the shadows for her youth –
she is sprawled on a bench between
Notre Dame and Le Pont de l’Archevêché,
her tongue is turning tumblers in Colette’s mouth.
Tarmac blisters; lime-tree leaves
undo themselves, fall around the lovers’ feet.
He calls her back. They cross the road to Shakespeare
and Co and higher still, The Sorbonne fenced-in
by concrete slots for bicycles and charging white
electric cars. There’s more English offered
in the cafes, less rust now on the Tour Eiffel.
Their apartment is a love affair of marble tiles
and cast art-deco iron stairs. He pulls the paper
tied with string, opens the book he had to buy,
sinks beneath a small electric moon. There’s a hiss
and rustle in the kitchen, Veronique is ironing leaves.