Breath & Shadow

A collection of my poems, some dark, some on the lighter side, some new, some previously published, and some I like to call "Brautigans," after one of my favorite poets. Hope you'll enjoy them!


Author's note

Copyright © 2018 Antoinette McCormick

All rights reserved. This e-book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a review.

11. The Island in This Streaming

In Paris-- by the seaside, not the river
I watched the lights turn verdigris at sunset, once in winter
Heard seagulls screaming inside seashells spewing
From Big Michael's mower as he churned
Them all to chum for hungry tourists.

Apple blossoms drift along the winter seashore
Beneath the spot where Monday morning always opens like a window.
If my hair's still wet and smells just like the ocean
This must be Paris
I must still be in Paris...
C'est Paris,
J'en suis sûr.

If I'm sure I'm sure of anything at all...

I should've asked those gargoyles on the tower
If the rain along the Seine is ever mined or even quarried
If a carillon can carry tourists to the Angelus
And if all gargoyles at Notre Dame are Catholics.
They must be,
Mustn't they?

I hope there's not a test on Paris exports.

I think I'll make an omelet in the microwave
And share it with Big Michael over sausages and coffee.
Pouring out our morning coffee,
Poring over mourning gargoyles,
We'll float farther out than memory can reach.

Ah, c'est magnifique à Paris,
Tout est si différent ici, à Paris!
Je déteste vraiment jamais avoir à quitter.

Hungry tourists rev their motors
On the Seine shore by the seashore
Their unholy carillon is
Not a tune attuned to gargoyles,
Or apple blossoms streaming
Down this rainy, Monday morning
But I'm afraid that now I'll never know for sure!

It all made sense inside my head
This island streaming by the seaside
Until a motor churning verdigris
Me réveillé de reverie.

If this bridge to night's existence falls
To Michael's cutting carillon
How will I get back to Paris?
Because I must get back to Paris
Je dois revenir à Paris!

(That's the only thing I really know for sure.)

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