Buttes-Chaumont

You are you again.
You are walking up the lovely stairs
each step made of cement
rustic in the shape of a log, faux-log,
faux-bark, you’re in the park,
pretty park and children
pass you unconcerned,
there are ducks in the small pond
on the way to the Mairie.

You’re getting married today,
how foolish you are.
Far-off sirens unfamiliar sky,
don’t do it, we all still have
reflexes left from the war, alone
is not lonely, don’t do it,
you have no experience at it,
this catastrophe by two, you
haven’t even married yourself yet
let along some relative stranger,
how could that possibly work?

Come marry me instead,
I’m really you anyhow, it’ll be easy
and the I that you are will never leave you.

If you call this love, so be it.
I call it walking across the park
on a mild winter day
worrying about the ducks
and not much else, I call it
lofty conversation with the soul,
eagles and poetry, no fear no hope,
we tread on things made to seem
like other things, this is sort of art,
we rise to easy summits and look round.

This hill was once the garbage dump
for all northeast Paris, then wise men
of the 19th Century heaped earth
on remnant and made it a park,
a ‘beauty-spot’ they called it then.
On such things we climb, art-wise,
to our proper heaven. Stay here,
leave that stranger waiting at the Mairie.

You are the always of my old hymns,
youngest daughter of language and light.
I have other stuff like this to tell you,
just be me while you move into yourself
slowly, smoothly, your roomy airy
house with huge carved bronze doors.

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