I will have enough
if I keep to my three-a-day
But what if Paris is just too big
to fit neatly between the margins
the boulevards so wide
the bookshelves so crammed
with volumes and volumes
of artists and painters and
lovers and the river rushing
north and west as William,
son to father, and the geese,
pages and pages, what of them?
What if I am swept away
by the history, the stained glass
the Pierrot, silent and white,
the velvet and mirrors, the ghosts
of Papa and Pound, their excess,
the women, their cigarettes
thin and fashionable. What if
I walk the wet streets, the gutters
and find a corner to roll out
my sleeping bag. What if he says yes,
you may, on one condition:
read a book a day.
Will I write smaller, will I
condense, reduce, distill
invisible. Will there be no white
no air to breathe, just blue
suffocating dense, no release
no headspace for titles and dates
and dear diary. Will I stop looking
noticing the tiny grapes, no larger
than peas, the leeks bunched together
the tomatoes, orange not red.
I have nowhere to put them.
I will count again.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shalva_Kikodze,_Artists%27_coffee-house_in_Paris,_1920.jpg