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This poem is taken from PN Review 64, Volume 15 Number 2, November - December 1988.

A Paris Suite Jonathan Galassi


Sometimes the clouds run off and the stone lights up
cascades of contrast on the old façades
you think will last forever it's so deep
and old: old European light
someone called mother-of-pearl.
You cannot cross the rich grass of the past
you have to come from behind
on your narrow path
in your heavy coat
while your heavy breath tries to rise.
So leave it for the primrose and impatiens.
If summer comes
the all-pervasive issue of the moment
- clouds of sky, water or clear air -
dissolves in the general heat and windlessness
and the bricks of the Place lie flat in the sun

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