In Notre Dame there’s a bookshop
with stickers over every price and barcode,
marking each book up five, ten, twenty euros
because it’s famous.
If you buy a book
the grotesquely literate till lady asks
“Would you like a stamp”?
And every customer looks worried
and quietly asks
“Does it cost extra?”
It doesn’t, so every person says
“Yes, I’d like a stamp please”.
It’s always full of beautiful people
wearing their very best writer outfits.
Up the stairs to the left
there’s a little old piano
in a small enclave
and you’re allowed to play;
if you’re able.
Opposite the piano is a wall of post-it notes
with bits of poetry
all written by the patrons;
all in different languages,
Each one assiduously chosen
by their writer as the line
that communicates their purest essence,
waiting to be seen by a holidaying editor
who will storm the world in search of them
to publish every sick and sweet word.
But they just sit there in a sort of dogged rest,
looking somewhat cemeterial,
twitching each time somebody opens the door;
by everyone that walks by.
I picked up a book
read a page
saw the price
put it back
and played a note
for the dead poems
as I left.