The Words of Wordsworth Enter the Dream
It was her turn to remind me of that fateful day.
We had met in a Parisian cafe through a panel of glass dividing us from the smoke from her cigarette and the warmth of her breath fogging the glass. After a long night of cappuccinos and the sound of impatient pedestrians passing by, I woke up from the dream and forgot her.
Last night she took me by the hand and away from the gliding soiree. Since the boat had just departed she waved her hand and a bridge formed. We made it safely onto the dock. She guided me down the Champs Elysees, her hand firmly clasped around mine. Feeling slightly amnesic I followed her down a narrow street and into a small cafe. She placed her hand on my shoulders and turned me in the direction of the photograph.
It was a large scale photo in a dark wood frame. The background shimmered, the colors bleeding into one another like imperfect wavelengths. On the far left a blue mailbox was inscribed with black ink. In the center of the photo I discovered proof I’d been here before. She wore a black beret and scarf. I wore a navy dress, white scarf and my hair was long. My arm was wrapped tightly around her waist.
“Can you read the inscription?” she asked.
I drew closer to the photograph, the letters growing more unstable. I took a step back and tried again. It read: As with a rapture caught from heaven. Wordsworth.
We signed our names under this line.
“Jenny,” I said, allowing the recognition to filter through me. She kissed my cheek softly.
It was late, but she deemed the night young. We went into a little jazz club near Le Marais. Jenny handed me a glass of red and we sat there perfectly still as the saxophone bellowed to Mingus, then Monk. Please Don’t Come Back From the Moon. She took me to her new apartment located a few blocks away. Another celebration of independence. From her window I could see all of Paris in extraordinary detail. The night was changing colors. People were walking through the streets singing songs of lament. Jenny was downstairs saying goodbye to her friends.
Lucidity increased at this point. I was reminded of other European dreams. Rome, London, Spain. Paris was going to sleep and it appeared to me as a sleeping giant made of tiny compartments, cathedrals, boulangeries, studios, falling stars and moving clouds; the city was shifting and breaking down its size in a luminous explosion where the sparks reached the windowsill. The awe left me speechless.
Jenny’s hand ran down my back and moved forward over my stomach. She whispered, “while I speak, the labouring Sun/his Glad deliverance has begun” and I knew her touch well enough. She lifted my hair, fingers tangled in every strand. The cypress waves her sombre plume/More cheerily; and the town and tower. Yes, again.
The vineyard and the olive-bower,
Their lustre re-assume!
O Ye, who guard and grace my home
While in far distant lands we roam,
What countenance hath this Day put on
While we look round with favoured eyes,
Did sullen mists hide lakes and skies
And mountains from your view?
As my dress came undone the dream became snow, shifting the room we occupied into a place of bitter cold. Bu the touch of her mouth was still warm upon waking to the alarming sound of my other life.