Sometimes Parisian air coughs out windows at you.
Ones that weren’t there before; framed in firewood
that burned for centuries before sobering to the line
that it is not ideas that need holding up but visions.

Visions of Lafayette in the nine, clementines built high
in the Aligre or the Sacre-Coeur’s syringe awaiting
the impatient flick of the masses. Rows of bouquinistes
who know that some words are too vital to buy new,

dot the banks of the Seine, gild the Parc de la Villette.
If we look down, heaven is rows of chimney pots,
catching smoke in the throat of the city. And we look,
this morning with our cigarettes for breakfast,
through windows, glass outfits worn by the sun.


Rebecca Bird