In faded Chantilly Lace…

laceThe air lays heavy
like a wool blanket soaked
in boiling water
it covers the Vieux Carre
and the small cafe
where I sit
back to the street
at the table near the post
that holds up the awning
the proprietor tolerates
my presence
so long as I keep
this bottle of Kentucky Bourbon
and a shot glass near
my notebook
and inkwell
I do not come here
for the libations
nor the deep-fried
pastries
smothered in confectioners sugar
nor the rich smell
of the cafe’ au lait
that drifts from her table
where she enjoys
the very same sweet treats
and sun-dappled conversation
with her gentleman friend
while I
sit by and counsel with
a brown bottle
and imbibe it
ounce by ounce
not with black sleeved and top hatted
elegance
I
in my off white and brown
and dusted suspender plainness
clink, fill, and toss back
swallowed conversation
with my right hand
and an ink soaked pen
I record the flutters
of my heart
to see
through glass bottomed peeks
the curve of her
boot as it hugs her ankle
lewdly flirting
with a passing breeze
and I note
with each hollow thump
of the shot glass
against marble surface
that I am
indeed invisible
to such as she
billowed white bustled trains
silk-sleeved lace gloved
parasoled and perfect
dark-tressed and woven waves
and heart-stoppingly scenic
as I inscribe
fairer words still
to describe my thoughts of her
my muse assays my courage
as she
with a request of pardon
rises from her seat
and with no further word
to her gentleman company
shoulders her parasol
and forges ahead
parting the busy patronage
to arrive
like Columbus upon the Indies
at my very table
and I
with hand in mid sentence
look up
into her pulchritude
and wonder
how long the human mind
may stay alert
when it is deprived of oxygen
I battle with waves
of confusion
as she
offers her lace-wrapped fingers
not in greeting
but
as her eyes tell me
to demand
my notebook be placed
within her seraphic palm
and I
struck as dumb
as a fool who has been
beaten senseless
am powerless
save only to watch
as my muscles quite beyond
reason and control
hand it over
She holds it
within the grasp
of her hand as her
fingers form a beautiful
V
upon the spine
and hanging her parasol
by its crook
on her arm
she slowly turns pages
and reads
with dark lashed eyes
and I
myself
am forced to admit
I did not think
there would be a moment
as when she reached up
and touched the side of her neck
and released a gentle sigh from
her slightly parted lips
nor did I conjure
that this meeting would develop
to its conclusion in such a way
that I would not feel the smack
of that folded parasol
against my temple
as she would toss the book
down to the ground
however
be it strange enough
she held it out that I should take it
and with a lingering stare
she returned
to her gentleman friend
to be escorted across the thoroughfare
to disappear into the
warm Southern Haze of the day
and when next I sat
upon my normal seat
back to the street
and Kentucky Bourbon at hand
I would have called
every sage a liar
if they had presented me
with such an augury
that I should receive an envelope
perfumed and in beautiful hand
addressed to Poete du Cafe’
and when I had
the bravado to open it
I should find an image
a picture of her
bare shouldered and brazen looked
trimmed as to fit
inside the cover of a pocket watch
and along with it two other items
a brief note
that read
to further your inspiration”
and a small lock
of her dark hair
tied at the end
in faded chantilly lace

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About Eric

Writer/Plumber/Poet/Father/Gentleman/Romantic
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33 Responses to In faded Chantilly Lace…

  1. Heartafire says:

    Beautiful writing Eric…Southern Haze…Kentucky Bourbon…lovely!

  2. Emily says:

    Wonderful imagery. And an alluring southern tale, makes me want to take my writing to NOLA. 🙂 And just out of curiosity, do you like to write in cafes?

  3. my valiant soul says:

    Woooww!!Speechless.

  4. Meg Sorick says:

    You are truly a man out of time! That was mesmerizing! And it really makes me want to visit New Orleans! You should totally submit this to the NOLA visitors bureau! ❤️❤️❤️

  5. Purpleanais says:

    Oh my dear heart, like walking through an enchanted forest…you never want it to end…so tender and delicate and beautiful, Eric 💜

  6. Marvelous piece and pics

  7. VictoryInTrouble says:

    Oohhh. Goodness, Eric. I can see everything you wrote. So beautiful. I love how he couldn’t breathe and how he handed the book over without telling himself to do it. So charming. You are amazing, you lovely man. ❤️

  8. Geetha B says:

    What a lovely write!

  9. Lisa T says:

    ❤️❤️❤️

  10. Sweet soulful southern goodness.

  11. Elizabeth Helmich says:

    Wow Eric, I literally have the chills. Love love love. It’s impossible not to be deeply touched when reading your work. Amazing. ❤ ❤ ❤

  12. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Your power lives and lies in the way you know how to write words OUT into worlds and the detail you give your poems. I’ve always loved detailed poems, and yours are rich with detail and just beg us to enter your world. I love this, as I love nearly everything you write, you are a wizard as well as a swordsman.

    • Eric says:

      So deeply grateful for your praise and for your presence here. I can’t say it enough, I am so glad to know you, Shieldmaiden. ❤ ❤

      • thefeatheredsleep says:

        I wish I could invent more authentic less recycled praise because sometimes I just want to say more than I know how to say, I know you know what I mean

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