Pleasure quarters with bars
Where sweethearts drink each other.
Banker’s daughters who stand on balconies
And watch the city as if held by an opera.
Streets tangled like synapses
That lead you to statues silent in the cold.
A Cinémathèque with 40’s walls
Pockmarked by occupation;
Its cushioned seats come undone
By the fingernails of lovers.
We walked down Rue Beaumont snogging,
Not bothering to come up for air.
The night birds tittering
Like children spying on older sisters.
How magical it was – first love,
First whiff of the continent,
All novel and exhilarating;
A mind not yet rectified by university.
I remember feeling like one of Dante’s damned
Catching a ferry to the other place.
The future seemed to emerge
Day after day, like spring…
This is a poem of remembering;
Perhaps, not at all how it was.
Have I already grown misty-eyed
Recalling the firstness of things?
Is it for someone else now
That youth treads light, undiminished?