From Persephone in Hell, VI by Rita Dove, from Mother Love
After the wind, this air
imploded down my throat,
a hot, rank syrup swirled with smoke
from a hundred cigarettes.
Soft chatter roaring. French nothings.
I donít belong here.
He inclines his head, rather massive,
like a cynical parrot. Almost a smile.
Sotto voice, his inquiry
curls down to lick my hand.
Standard nicety, probably,
but my French could not stand up
to meet it.
"Pardon me?"
"Yes. IímÖ.sure heís here somewhere."
Here you are. "
Heís gone and back, as easily as smoke,
in each hand a slim glass
alive with a brilliant lime.
"What time is it?"
Again the dark smile.
"Some call it that."
"trick of light." I take the glass,
lift it to meet his.
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