The city mumbles low through the daylight, sounds
as if you ought to be happy in it. The lovers
spangle l’Esplanade des Invalides at lunch-time, too bright to look at,
crack their soft insides open under blue.
Slim trees hold themselves against the blowing hours.
On the Pont Alexandre-III, I see tourists’ cameras take memories,
click click blur those squinting pedestals,
detach the color of the horses from their anger. I want to know
is this gilt or gold, what flickering bridges
hold us up beneath.
Today le septième stretched its jowls,
licked its whitish rocks, the cheeks of its banks,
swallowed its dusts and spat them in the Seine.
Three-lobed leaves, bits of brown twigs.
They swirled in the green, sucked at the teeth
of the algae, everything sank
after the bateaux-mouches. And the green
glass bottles cracked into emeralds, chips,
and the traffic sounded gentle and
there were too many birds in the sky. What a foule.
Lovers leaned together in the sandwich sunshine,
scarf touching scarf, and strung about their hydra necks
Buildings assumed the light would last,
crumbled into gravel and refraction. On
the buses, old men sit in shadows
and watch nothing.