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Guernsey Literary Festival

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Guernsey Arts

Jane Wilkinson, UK

2nd prize: Open Poetry
Poems on the Move & Poems on the Buses Exhibitions


Mime me a café at the Marché aux Fleurs. You point out twin tables like two empty plates. I shuffle round to face the street. You’ll pretend to strike a match, light me up. I’ll smoke my contraband Gitane with a pout. You order two small glasses of mahogany Cognac We see a boy coming home from l’école primaire, immense satchel on his back, por quoi, you say a boy needs his parachute. I unfold a map of the invisible city with the wide arms reserved for bed linen, iron out the creases with the heat of my hands. The best time to visit Paris is in unfinished darkness October or November, when street lights double in the Seine at five pm. But here in the bath-water weather of late July, first a crushed-raspberry kiss then a summer rain storm. We drench in its hissing medicine.