herbes de provence
in ten years, i don’t want to speak english.
i want to wake breathing rosemary and lilies,
laced with salt from the mediterranean.
i want to wake up in aix-en-provence,
open my window to look out
on cézanne’s mount saint victoire,
take my tea out to my white-iron balcony,
and dress to travel in to town to buy
thyme, baguette, and sweet crepes at
le grand marché, thumb through
first-edition leather covers walking through
marché aux livres on the first sunday of the month.
taking the tgv up through avignon and lyon,
i want to pass farms with fat cows and nubby shrubbery,
past les petits enfants running in fields,
chasing fairies and dandelion seeds. as the smoke
careens around the train and back toward the coast, i
will make my way toward la ville-lumière,
tripping over tenses and tongues
ordering les fleurs in the quartier latin,
order crème instead of sugar for my tea
in a clean, well-lighted place.
i want to spend the day at
jardin du luxembourg with my moleskin,
write lengthy poems about the nature of the flowers
and how they relate to champagne and wine;
write a novel about the way
french tastes in your throat on warm day
with a profiterole from la patisserie.
i want to write in intoxicating language,
with the lid off the blender,
excited to see what explodes.
i want to tango with his limbs in the quiet of the countryside,
listening to the waves crash
white sandy beaches singing songs of la mediterranee
as my own siren songs begin in my toes and make their way
up through wine stained lips. i want to give la bise
in the morning, a kiss on each cheek to keep the memory of me
like a fossil in flesh stone.
i want to dive into the fusion of france and italy
on the island of corsica; travel up north
through belgium, to see what the waffles are really like. i want
to run away on the monorail, and come home in the evening
to a bed that smells of lavender and a kitchen of herbes de provence.
(A version of this poem will be publishing in the Champlain College literary magazine, Willard&Maple. firstname.lastname@example.org)