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Novel

by
 I.
No one's serious at seventeen.
--On beautiful nights when beer and lemonade And loud, blinding cafés are the last thing you need --You stroll beneath green lindens on the promenade.
Lindens smell fine on fine June nights! Sometimes the air is so sweet that you close your eyes; The wind brings sounds--the town is near-- And carries scents of vineyards and beer.
.
.
II.
--Over there, framed by a branch You can see a little patch of dark blue Stung by a sinister star that fades With faint quiverings, so small and white.
.
.
June nights! Seventeen!--Drink it in.
Sap is champagne, it goes to your head.
.
.
The mind wanders, you feel a kiss On your lips, quivering like a living thing.
.
.
III.
The wild heart Crusoes through a thousand novels --And when a young girl walks alluringly Through a streetlamp's pale light, beneath the ominous shadow Of her father's starched collar.
.
.
Because as she passes by, boot heels tapping, She turns on a dime, eyes wide, Finding you too sweet to resist.
.
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--And cavatinas die on your lips.
IV.
You're in love.
Off the market till August.
You're in love.
--Your sonnets make Her laugh.
Your friends are gone, you're bad news.
--Then, one night, your beloved, writes.
.
.
! That night.
.
.
you return to the blinding cafés; You order beer or lemonade.
.
.
--No one's serious at seventeen When lindens line the promenade.

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