OUIGO To Paris
In the shower the rain-streaked scenery continued to unfurl from the TGV.
That knotted-up throat, Reconfort de la Gorge in a tea cup on the sink,
a bad eardrum, the high-speed train’s iron wail. I wanted to make speak
some column of wind, the scream of the TGV at dawn, the mountains,
forests swallowed up in mute slow motion past the shredded curtain
of rain. Things flash up: two faces, then melt beyond recognition.
Throat tea for the choked feeling. No intake, no fluoxetine
this time, nor all the others, quetiapine, hydroxizine for sleep.
It wasn’t the Izalgi dreaming this time, but a more familiar abysm that unfurled
as I watched the slow drain of the Seine, its cobbled promenade glued with yellow leaves.
Bon pour le corps, pour l’esprit, they’d said, back in the apartment. I pieced the memory
back together, thought maybe I’d misheard the words I love you. I wandered by
the shuttered Cluny where an elegant lady had been sitting for days. Curtains
of white noise and La chant de Maldoror. Literary snuff. What, arriving from
Montevideo, had Isidore Ducasse made of Paris, its inconstant sky? What the hell,
someone had wondered, could he have done in life to write such terrible dreams?