by Camilla Jean Welsch
Today, I walked into town like a French lady,
with the wind in my short hair,
under the sun,
my yet-unbathed body
still smelling good
because of my lover
and the peaceful slumber
and full release of stress into my bed-sheets,
so that my salt and my sweat were still sweet.
And the men all noticed me,
saucy, the way I tossed my look,
no matter how young they were,
and it was probably because I only had my eye out anyway
for any and all art around me,
(and even in them that was really all I saw)
even in the litter I eyed in the grass,
and the crumbling of dereliction under construction,
and there, what was that? a satchel of old computer cords
in a clear plastic bag,
sitting on the trunk of a black sedan,
beside an older woman with starched hair,
waiting in front of a funeral home.
But even death didn’t stop me
as I walked in my hot jeans now (with very American sneakers on),
following mon chien into the cemetery,
where he was leading me, and I followed spontaneously.
He stopped short, jarring my gracefully muscled arm, and though I turned in agitation,
I changed my demeanor and sighed as I glimpsed an arching path,
like a street that spoke of eternal internment of its inhabitants
under the beautiful spruces;
for they were not really dead to me,
as I beheld the spell of their soulful antiquity,
and quickly grazed a name or two into memory.
And when I got home, hot, with my hot dog,
and we both fell into drinking chilled water from the tap,
I peeled off my mickey mouse blouse
and opened all my windows
before taking a bath in the breeze,
smelling now thoroughly of perfumed roses and sea salt,
and summer by the seashore came over me so pleasantly,
(though it was March in Cleveland).
And for lunch there was fish with lemon,
and pineapple for dessert.
And I said to myself: “I’m not French, I’m American…
I just like art and spontaneity.”
And then in the next thought, I said to myself:
“Maybe one day I’ll live in Miami,”
because my first-of-the-season sandals looked so art deco…
and then, “… but only if my French lover will come and live with me.”
And I smiled, realizing it was all an illusion,
but that I could live it like reality.
And maybe I had no French lover, actually…
(Kind of child-like, really 🙂 )