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Venetian Gondoliers at Versailles

Jane Urquhart
From:   The Little Flowers of Madame de Montespan. The Porcupine's Quill, Inc., 1995. pp.18


Their Republic opened out towards the sea. Long fingers
extended to the lagoon. They returned by different routes
in a city like a maze.

II   Here they sail over a false lake, a captive canal. Still
waters go nowhere. They encounter edges. Women
won't call to them from balconies. No one speaks of
flowers ... or the moon.

III   And winter comes too soon. Skins bleach. Bones
swell up with dampness and the cold. Boats are frozen in
a corner of the garden.

IV    They wish for raw confusion. Buildings that press
back the sun; bridges that teem with circumstances. Not
the knives of the doctors, bleeding winter diseases, the
cold eyes of women bored by the court.

V    Sometimes at night they dream that their bloodstreams
have become canals, moving outwards, to the sea. Their
lost city, carried here inside the prison of their bodies.

VI    They've forgotten the songs they used to sing.



Jane Urquhart's works copyright © to the author.


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