PARIS GULLS

Written by: Nola Perez

The scent of oceans, a certain coolness
of wind over water wanders these city streets
where oleander blooms wickedly 
in the ruby assignation of the heart.
An occosional grayed gull, bonded to the Seine,

grown fat with pigeons and lazy for the river
forgets raw Novembers he owned the coast,
forgets the dangerous face of the sea after storms:
her width cut arrow straight at the horizon,
ragged at the shore, like lace to granite.

Standing on the Pont de l'Alma, watching one
lone expatriate gull scan the surface
of this fabled river that travels seaward
to Le Havre, I remember
colonies of gulls, how they plotted

their exodus across our island to the harbor,
or on the pinnacles of the fort, where
no invaders except sea birds come,
seeking shelter from their free lives as if
freedom is too much to bear sometimes,

drawing with their terrible focus
a telegraphy of sharp cries, wings dipping
into the morning harvest of seaweed and shell
among the hooves of wild horses,
the old bones of sailers.