Angie Estes

December 12, 2013 Estes Angie



Here lies a hectic site, la Cité

tête-à-tête with the Seine

while Notre-Dame goes on rising

like the heel of God’s boot.

Ancient Roman isle, river


flung around it like a lavender

orchid lei around a neck: here lies

the new moon with the old moon


                              in her arms. Voici the sheer

leers of else, ready for hire.

We filled the room

with stargazer lilies, the scent

of a sentence when it’s ready


to speak. Relevant: the nuns folding

from relevé to grand-plié

as they touch the stones


in Saint Gervais then kiss

the tips of their fingers

while worshippers lift

their arms, saguaro cacti

lost in the dark


or longhorn cattle swaying

in the nave. Here lies

cash, lire, a sachet of sighs: pay


to the account of I’ll: yesterday,

here, hier and ici, the icy ache

of ich. You taught me

tart grammar, how to keep

thin slices of apple on edge


in crème pâtissière the way words

remain en pointe in a poem. Write

to me here: Dante@Kimosabe


Angie Estes is the author of six books of poems, most recently Parole (Oberlin College Press, 2018). Her previous book, Enchantée (Oberlin, 2013), won the 2015 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize and the 2014 Audre Lorde Poetry Prize, and Tryst (Oberlin, 2009) was selected as one of two finalists for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. Her second book, Voice-Over, won the 2001 FIELD Poetry Prize and was also awarded the 2001 Alice Fay di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her first book, The Uses of Passion, was the winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize. The recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has also received fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.