In the jangled clouds and beams of april
we walked the inhuman boulevards of Paris
we stood on the île and, pestered slyly –
we reluctantly left a lock, engraved
with our names. We shouldn’t have.
When arguments began to stick and curdle,
when insults began their moth-flutters in the air,
we tried our best to break up, it was no use
We would fight in the night, rot in our sourness and split
only to wake again in bed, covered in rust.
Something was obviously wrong, the rust stung
left sores where it touched, got in our crevices
So we first disliked each other more and more
’til pain was the everyday way of things
and the friction so great we ground each other to stubs.
Snapping off one day I managed to run, return to the city –
again I saw the Seine and heard its whispers
I approximated the key’s trajectory, looked:
the water boiled and surged in whirlpool boils.
Nothing. I saw nothing but the dirt-flow
But then, suddenly, surfacing from a deep sound
It came: whale mass of iron, clumps of lock-keys
heralding an orange trellis of rustwater currents –
The lock-demon, the million locks key-keeper swam,
a trembling mass of promise from the murk.
I gazed, terrified, amazed at this dark mound
of keys. Its breath shook the waters, it rose
and groaned like the under-guts of Paris –
Numbered on seismographs as an underground train
I realised then we had made a terrible mistake