My Pimlico Girl
My entire life has been a vain quest for this wonderful love I’ve heard about but don’t quite believe in.
My Pimlico Girl
I love my Pimlico girl.
She loves me
Yes, yes, I know
She loves me, too.
We met beside the Regent’s Canal.
She was backlit-haloed by early morning sunbeams
Reading La Peste.
I opened a pack of cigarettes,
Straightened a bent Gauloise,
“Pardon, mais j’adore Camus, ‘Sisyphe’ surtout.”
My schoolboy French, piqued her interest,
“And what of Sisyphus himself? Would you imagine him happy?”
I masked my ignorance with the ‘feign pondering’ ploy.
She broke the tumbleweed silence, “Une clope?”
I lit a cigarette for her,
We smoked, staring at the canal,
Its green-ink water and swans at swim.
Lost in private reverie she whispered,
“If only love, alone, was enough.”
As the swans glided out of sight, she sighed,
“I admire their faithfulness,
They pick a mate for life and procreate…
We could be strangers, in love.
Enjoying discreet fidelity,
In the midst of this great city. “
‘Was that soliloquy aimed at me?’
I conjured a quotation from memory,
“We are all strangers – strangers to ourselves.”
She flicked the Gauloise into the canal,
“Then, let’s be strangers no longer,
‘Great works are born on street-corners
Or restaurants’ revolving doors’.
And great loves sprung from towpath chance encounters…”
We took the Tube to Pimlico
Walking hand in hand along
Anonymous labyrinthine streets
To a secluded mews retreat.
She led me up a spiral staircase
Across a neat trimmed patio garden
Through a tight narrow doorway
Opening into a bijou pied-à-terre
Its boudoir drenched in her pleroma.
We shared an abundance of love and lust,
But not our names.
At dusk I lit a final Gauloise.
“Il est temps que tu partie.”
“Will I see you again?”
“Bien sûr, cherie, je serais toujours là pour toi.”
Heading home, born again.
I skipped the tangle of Pimlico streets.
Staring at stars.
Dazzled by the ferocity – the serendipity of
Sudden endless love.
I trudge the maze
Of Pimlico pavements
Yellow clouds of hazy
And haunt the banks of the Regent’s Canal.