I thought of you as Notre-Dame burned
by Angelica Jopling | 24 November 2020
I thought of you as Notre-Dame burned.
I thought of how I peeled off my sticky leather
gloves to feel my naked fingers between yours
as we crossed that bridge over the Seine after dinner
giddy and full.
We stopped for a moment
to watch at the glow of the city
melt into the surface of midnight water.
And rather than words came the thought
We shall live here some day
in a little apartment on the river
with just enough bread and wine and
love for two.
You play piano while I write.
Simplicity is the greatest luxury, I said
with too many words.
You squeezed my frozen hand as if you understood,
but nothing can be so simple anymore.
Two hundred years of construction burn
in one hour.
Stone and glass dissolve to ash.
Prayers of yesterday licked by flames.
Prayers of tomorrow know no innocence.
And as the candle flickers, the warm glow
turns blue before becoming nothing.
The bones of cold fingers
grind to dust and comes the thought
of forever, a soft, grey sand.
Illustration by Vitoria Santos