Today's poem

Like seeing Éric Rohmer's film...

A Room at the Grand Hotel des Roches Noires, 1971
by Matthew Gregory

Madame likes to air the double she takes for eight weeks
on the sea-facing east wing.

She has written twelve postcards to Brussels in a month.

Her tone ー La mer est jolie ー is light and blasé though
she counts six instances of the word

Arthritis has touched her best hand. Outside the sea
glances her way with distance

where once everything in the world was a man
asking her to dance.

On one shelf in ribbons, her empty hatbox deepens

into deeper hatboxes that collapse slowly
                                          into the green pinochle halls
                                          of the pinochle men she knew.

Madame dreams in the window chair

and sees her postcards
from the Roches Noires
fly lightly down
                                        over the swathe of sea
                                        from the undercarriage
                                        of an albatross.

The ocean bird migrating    but so everything seems
at this point

                                         the cad with a tall white grin
                                         throwing double sixes at midnight
                                         fresh oysters with their slight cologne
                                         in the backseats of young France

The concierge is calling her
Madame. Madame?

And old albatross the scuffed white of lobby magazines.

An old albatross, but content as she wanders off the edge
of the continent.

(from the website of Vol. 35 No. 5, March 2013, the London Review of Book)