Freshly divorced, my uncle leans back as he swirls a Chablis,
Smells dead lobster tucked in ice at the fishery,
Limp like marionettes, and hears a boy shriek as he lets a balloon go.
My father’s younger brother takes a discreet dose of our waitress,
His bachelor vision engrossed in the loose gap of her shirt
As she reaches to place a basket of bread on our table.
Wrinkles pleat around his eyes like a child’s drawing of a sun,
And he utters what seem like his first ever words:
‘I think a few girls have been looking at me,’ he says.
I don’t tell him that in Paris, everyone looks at each other.
His kinked Italian nose eagles towards his wine glass,
And some inner force urges more words forth:
‘I like these little streets,’ he says, ‘I like all these little streets.’
My uncle has become an almost happy man.