Monday 31st January 2011, A. Palmer
Look at the lovers:
They leave together but neither leads.
I ponder their destination,
as they course through Paris back streets
in a thick-set Saturday fog.
I watch as he makes her giggle;
he looks pleased with himself,
taking it as invitation to nuzzle her neck.
She loves this, and I know this
by the way she lets a lip escape beneath her teeth.
They’re doing much more than just surviving,
they’re making a dying man feel alive.
I can’t decide if that’s beautiful or tragic,
suspecting I’ll settle on the latter later,
for self-pity’s sake perhaps.
For now, I try to deduce from the way he hangs off her shoulder,
or the way she tucks his hand to her breast,
whether they will go home to hot air balloon rides,
stroking children to sleep
and kissing cups of cocoa cold,
or wine-stained mouths
frothing across perspiring flesh,
as candles roll knocked from waxed saucers
atop a table from yesteryear.
Which is the more romantic vision?
I wrestle with the pictures until
I find my answer blanketed in fog-
ahead, he bends to tie her lace
and she sows a kiss somewhere
in Thursday’s hair.