Paris in Grayscale, by Veronica Noechel

Please wait. I’m still here, slurping last night’s
Perrier Jouet, still stuffed with stars,
Gauloises smoke, wet with my
breath, and swirls in the sky
and my heart—oh yes, I’m so in love with
every puttering motocrotte, the
twisted-ankle streets, and the way
the spiked roofs puncture the sky, le ciel
bleeding the fog of a thousand years.

Paris lives in a tin daguerreotype,
bordered in black, living and yet
standing staunch for the camera,
never quite accepting color. Its
fountains still trickle potable water
and people still fill their bottles,
never mind the black and white
pigeons swarming cathedrals, little
clouds of gargoyle demons.

But they’re doves,
really, aren’t they? Even a
hangover feels charming when
your head aches from your grey
soft brain colliding till dawn

with the sharp, silver points of B-612,
spiked with a little snake venom,
to send you home, to dream
grey and white Sirius stories
till the fox you’ve tamed
slips away, grabbing his white
cigarettes and sepia tobacco,
being careful to close the door softly
so as not to disturb the dust motes
drunken dancing, still, in the hazy morning sun.

***

E.V. Noechel is a foster volunteer for small animal rescue, providing refuge and rehoming for rats, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas and the like who have found themselves deposited in city pounds and animal shelters. Her most recent book of poetry, Gone, is available through the publisher (Foothills Press) and Noechel’s Etsy site. CV and sample work can be found here.

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Comments

  1. Love this poem, especially “Paris lives in a tin daguerreotype”–so evocative!

  2. Paints a vivid picture in your mind, nice!

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