Tonight, we inhale combustion
quilted with orange residues
that leak from solitary bulbs.

In Paris long enough, I befriend
curled tresses of the cul de sac
on the road below my lodging.

This is how spring stings us –
This is how we get used to cold
as old buildings attract mist.

I cannot catalogue much except
progeny of wild winds that roar
on the neck of a windowpane.

When it rains in Paris, it bleeds
into swift little gutters.
You can see your reflection
over its mercury embryo.

An Apology for Those Who Use Latin Midsentence

Latin plays out in English translation
somehow akin to the condensation of speech
when you are in a hill station. You laugh
in coffee breaths and speak in smoke wisps.
It twirls in pattern like a disengaged subaltern
bookkeeper who twiddles his thumbs all day
in an awkward bookstore amid coffee shops.
You have heard ‘tabula rasa’ but pause like an
inadvertent comma to recall its meaning —
curse memory, then offer a cursory glance,
mumble syllables to sound as mimetic
as the other person’s puckered lips
as he explains the cadence of those words to you.
But Latin is soon left behind like the hill station.
You return when the flavor of everyday wears you out.

Image Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France