PARIS, MON AMOUR
"when the Gods want to punish you, they answer your prayers"
--line from the film "Out of Africa"
She stopped, transfixed, a breathless
butterfly pinned to a board, and she said,
"That is So beautiful!" Then, turning
to her husband as they stood in my kitchen
before an aerial photograph of L'Ile de la Cite'
shaped like a ship in the beating heart of Paris,
(young Yuppie wife of entrepreneurial architect
who owned half the houses on the street
where I lived), she asked with pleading eyes,
"Could we go someday?" Knowing the appetite
for that which lies beyond Beyond: Paris,
La Cite' Emeraude, or wherever is the personal
Shangri La, I wished I could have shared
what I've known: a second floor apartment
in an historic building in the 12th--its
circular staircase royally carpeted in red,
enclosing a tiny lift, depositing us
to a storied paradise, its rooms extending
beyond glass doors of an antechamber into
a formal salon, two stately bedrooms
with balconies, and a "bureau," birthplace
of poems, diaries of dreams, and in the interior
courtyard beneath our common windows,
open to the Paris bleu, a caged canary sang,
lusting for open sky in mornings filled
with the perfume of freshly baked pastries
and baguettes from the patisserie below.
Once, I was besotted with a man who told me
after lovemaking, "I never knew how
much yearning you needed." He divined this,
and for a time he fed that soul hunger in me, so
that it was hard when he left, and they always leave.
Ships seeking harbor, leave in their wake
a yearning in the corners of your life, which will
surely bring back Paris and everyone you have ever
loved, which will somehow, somehow, against
all odds, satiate the supplicant heart.
Copyright © Nola Perez | Year Posted 2008
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