Paris, 2011.

Moonlight shimmers across cobbled courts

and Notre-Dame stands stoic in silence;

omniscient and omnipotent, stained-glass eyes

watching the Seine move beneath the twinkle

of stars, the Eiffel Tower and the streets.

Men with roses harangue tourists,

but we are all seventeen and this is no time

to love like strangers at midnight, our bellies

full of pasta, wine and cheese. Our ears

searching for the place where a voice distantly creeps

onto the cobbles. ‘Hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back

no more, no more, no more, no more.’

She’s blonde, leans like Jessica Rabbit against the piano.

Winks at the English; knows we are seventeen

and falling, hopelessly, in love with her French.

The cocktails are all named after sex positions

and our mirth bubbles up and over our tables,

squished in a semi-circle, still listening

as her fingers play the polished top of the piano

like his tickle the ivories effortlessly.

We’re seventeen and this is no time to love

but we all fall in love with the sound of our voices;

homeless on the streets of Pari and free:

a sweet, sweet November filling our lungs,

teaching our adolescence how to breathe.

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