I saw you
round Baudelaire’s grave.
You were on a pilgrimage from Blyth.
I saw your face in Montparnasse,
blending with a swarm of irises.
You needed to get away from the grime,
to bathe in flowers of evil,
to wash your pale white body
in the Paris crowds,
broaden your worried brow.
Your young poems already rot
in the cemetery of poets
and yet you still churn out the stuff
as if your little voice meant something.
There is no going back
to that fateful day
when our eyes met by chance,
neighbours brought together by France
and the great mind of Charles.
He lay there,
pecked at by the grip of time,
drugged by a quickfire nib,
injected with the poison of love
and the wit of drunkenness;
and I saw you,
before I even met you,
and I knew that one day we would fly
to a liberated Prague together,
to taste the freedom of the streets
and the lightning lash of fate.