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

of forever.

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

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