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The Work, In Progress
The practice of writing Five Things, five things at a time.
The paint turning to chalk, the colors wrong.
Coffee and a croissant at the sidewalk café, and the man begging for change.
My mother's voice on the phone as I walk through the streets, running an errand, speaking about our lives, about television.
The woman with purple nail polish at the taco stand.
In a long dress with no bra, I think I am invisible, but the man standing outside the butcher shop looks at my breasts as I walk past.
Papers taped to the wall tell the story of a life, moving through the years, event to event, reducing the dreams and tragedies, the passions and disappointments, to a list.
The pre-made bouquets outside the florist's shop, lovely and too expensive.
The streetlights, gilding the pink sides of the buildings, the old stone window ledges, in the early morning light.
The herbs on the windowsill are thirsty for water.
The way the air was suddenly hostile as the vinegar and bleach mixed on the surface of the bath.
Eighty degrees in November. (This is what I wrote, even though it is October.) Something is wrong with me. I can't get the equations right.
Waiting to buy the portable wifi refill at the news kiosk at Republique, the magazines about Van Gogh, about philosophy, about a female politician, or politician's wife, who is now “more popular than ever before.”
Feeling the language snap into place around me, the unknown phrases making themselves known.
Putting three small plums on a blue-rimmed plate and then deciding not to eat them, deciding I might paint them in the morning.
Walking near the Louvre, I use my carte blanche pass to skip the entry lines and use the bathroom. In a deserted gallery, in low light, the funeral portraits of dead Egyptians from 1,800 years ago.
Walking up through the Jardin du Palais-Royal, the leaves just turning yellow.
At the market, in the early afternoon, buying fresh fish, mushrooms, green onions, two rounds of cheese.
Back home, the papers on the walls with the timelines of the artists’ lives.
Clean underwear fresh from the wash, still wet, hung in rows of three on the heated towel rack.
The purple light on the Seine behind a boat at night, do they mean to paint the water?
The first day I needed a coat.
The plums, reluctant to give up their stones, embedded in the wet golden flesh.
The butter in the pan, making crepes for breakfast.
A surge of 70s glam rock, and chocolate on the tongue.
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