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Photography: Sarah Reed
Isha Wagner

a time of french bread

I stare into the darkened street
through an open window -
the air is not cold: the season changes.
I think of days in France
in the balmy summer
half starving it out on the Boulevard St Michel -
I was old then (dripping with age)
madly in love
obsessed with torment.
Did Pierre love me?

Yes, sometimes he did -
for several moments
when he sneaked into my bed.
Yes, definitely.
Whispering words of endearment,
me answering in schoolgirl French.
But when out of sight
the tales I heard of his amours
stretched and distorted me.
The days were tortuous
with my imaginings!
When it was over
I wasted two years of this precious life
getting over him
and my senility,
fleeing fast from Paris
to somewhere else.

Seeing through the mirror lightly
my lovers now I do not adore.
They, instead, adore me.

Oh, the bliss of youth.
And the curse of age.

loss of clarity

The magician has gone.
The enchanter has closed his doors.
I race up and down
knock, knock, knock.
It's no use.
Return to an ordinary world
where the light is foggy blue
and the cabbages grow greener
and my heart shrinks accordingly.

Your political voice
with its sharp keen interest
dissolves me.
My wings have been devoured
by the spiders of socialist idealism.

I'm neither to the left or the right -
dwelling only in the shadowlands
of being.

I met the wizard long ago.
Who waved the wand of infinity.

But it's a memory of a memory now
that dose of reality
as I beam into your familiar face

with its unwisdom and love

and my own indefatigable need.

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