Paris, 8 a.m. by Elizabeth Spires

Jul 27, 2018 | Bubbler

Congratulations to our contributor Elizabeth Spires whose new “Zenny Poetry” book “A Memory of the Future” just dropped from W. W. Norton & Company. Here’s a look at her poem “Paris, 8 a.m.” (from our dossiers poésies).


Paris, 8 a.m.

Without lifting a hand, you watch
the light in the courtyard sketch in
another February morning where pale tendrils
push up against stones heavy as years
you have lived through, years yet to come.

You have abandoned your life to be
here, a stranger in a strange grey city
that will not embrace you, your face,
upside-down in the coffee spoon,
asking, Why? Why are you here?

There, in the flaking antique mirror,
an interior where everything has changed
its name–chaise, livre, fenêtre
and chilly specters echo your own interrogations:
Pour quoi? Pour quoi êtes-vou ici?

O do not turn your back to them!
And so, as the occasion demands, you bow
and address the pale revenants of imagination:
Madame and Monsieur Fantôme, s’il vous plait,
je suis revenue a la vie encore une fois.