Untitled haibun

by Amelie Maurice-Jones

In the car, half-laced boots rested against painted windows, we think how retro and vintage we are- us, fresh out of university with our hair whipped and willowed, driving to Paris in the autumn, mixtapes of trip-hop tempo turning in the player and a bottle of flat champagne rolling on the empty seat. Young and free and young and free and young and free.

painted cheekbones and
black shirts rippled at the sleeves
fine wine of cities

And we go to art museums in Paris, one after the other because we are civilised & sophisticated after all, and we smile lipstick cigarette-scented smiles in a feigned interest for fine arts and river views across some famous tower that some famous french writer probably wrote his debut novel in.

technicolour chimes
frames brighter than the paintings
paintings brighter than people

Children; with hair tousled like sandcastles, with crinkled clothes that were probably once white; clutching cellophane sachets of candy like fairy-lights, sugar and shook. As we perch at a roadside spindle café, black coffee in hand, and “no sugar please!” I can’t help but glance over and feel a pull of, of… envy? Something sad and heavy and sighing for something that I once was, and that hangs in my lungs. And then I dismiss it, because it’s just the heat, and so I’ll go inside to the air-conditioned mezzanine floor of that gallery, put on my sunglasses and gather up the cutting-edge of metropolitan society that I call my friends.

take off your shimmer
humming leaves catch in swept hair
we journey home asleep