Angie Estes

Cache
December 12, 2013 Estes Angie

Cache

 

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 Estessixth collection of poems, Parole, is forthcoming from Oberlin College Press in October 2018. Her previous book, Enchantée, won the 2015 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize, and Tryst was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize.