Postcard from Paris
Paris is a paintbox of love’s dark mystery and light.
Its bridges and lanterns, its wrought iron balconies
and pale rose moon on the Seine—all of it communicates
a feeling that transcends time but not place, like a desire
for someone you have never met. No wonder artists
flock here like birds instinctively finding their way home.
I was lovesick for Paris even before I ever came here.
Like any grand amour this city will seduce you, charm you,
challenge and bewilder you. Don’t worry about wearing or saying
the right thing here. You do belong. We all belong.
Walk along the river, look at art, sit for a while in cafés and parks.
Breathe in the scent of this city, a mixture of expensive perfume,
butter, cigarette smoke and soot. Watch the sun sink pink and low,
listen to creaking wooden shutters concealing lives you cannot know.
Julia Caroline Knowlton MFA PhD is Professor of French at Agnes Scott College, where she also teaches creative writing. The author of five books, she is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets College Prize and a 2018 Georgia Author of the Year award. She regularly publishes her poems in journals such as thimble, One Art and Rust & Moth. One of her poems will be publicly installed outdoors in 2022 as a part of the GA Poetry in the Parks project.