The Weather in Paris

by | Jun 24, 2023 | Writing the Weather

Stillness. Only the sudden blaze of a cigarette, smoke twisting like blue desire to the sky. How to name that blue? To get closer to it? The blue of lost memory, of the suffering eyes of Christ. A boy downstairs speaks in his ancient French vowels, vowels inherited from his parents, his mouth alive with sound. I am trying to get as close as I can to it.

My window is like a door opening into a green religion of trees. Upstairs I enter my thoughts into the book of days, this moment of waiting for the dance to begin, like Degas’ pastel ballerinas caught just behind the curtain, waiting for their time, like smoke, like language in the mouth, alive then gone. Sometimes stillness is all we need, good bread, children talking, small baptisms of light.

A woman walks by while reading a book, men with loaves the color of flesh. The day is like an orchestra warming up. Later I go beneath the city, board the Metro, tunnels gusting us to Odeon, Chateau Rouge, Etienne Marcel. Doors sigh with the exodus of riders. The city above is like stumbling into the cinema after a dark lobby. In the shops I am looking for an antique key I can’t find, a key with verdigris teeth, a patina the color of poisonous copper. In America my father has died and here I am trying to find an ancient key that unlocks nothing.

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