To Three Women I’ve Met

By Michelle Wang


M, Versailles

Those days of Autumn yet to come,

Nascent talk on the train out of town.

Golden gates, a palace, Marie-Antoinette’s slippers, and a gown.

The gentle beat of rain, tum-tum-tum-tum,

Shuffling through crowds, hall of mirrors, mirage.

In the grounds, the garden at Marienbad,

The manicured green dream Robbe-Grillet had.

Swans glisten past on the still grey lake,

The nooks and crannies that you and I make,

Come to light, freely,

Over a slightly stale baguette and Franprix tabouli.

From our reverie we need not awake,

Many more seasons and places and views,

Walks to remember in a faraway mood.


S, Èze

After the ballet and the trip to Monaco,

The bus ride that curved round and round

Cragged cliffs, the sheer sea without a sound,

The second-last morning in tandem flow.

Sunlight venturing on sandstone

Narrow and inclining,

Click-click of cameras, upwards and winding,

Wherever our feet, minds, eyes roam.

It’s hotter and brighter this high in the sky,

At our table for two; coffee time.

In the morning we talk about moons

An augury of all things in the universe that loom.

No sugar, but a splash of milk,

Lastly, we buy matching slips in silk.


S, Kolumbusplatz

I’ve chosen another January night

Since dark madness and winter are our recurring thing,

After all, that was when you and I took wing:

The shared taxi on New Year’s Eve – our chariot without a knight.

Times and planes later at your snowy doorstep,

Nudeln, kaisen, bröt, pfefferminztee,

Perched in the attic, the wide window is extra glee.

Two tickets for this play, with a blank black set,

In a sixteenth century kingdom,

Foes that are queens, who neither know freedom.

Lamplights down Kolumbusplatz,

Framed by cars, ensnowed en masse.

Breathless, hurrying, we’re likely late!

Two women, worlds apart, forced to hate each other,

Two women, seated front row, trading whispers.