"To Robert Plant, Written at 81 Rue Pierre Girard, Paris" by Elizabeth Iannaci
To Robert Plant, Written at 81 Rue Pierre Girard, Paris
The French cats: Isabella, the black, stretches
rug-like under a chair; Simone, the gray, perches
on the sofa’s spine. I stroke her, and she becomes
a Geiger counter, the uranium not far away. Night
arrives in a rush, late for dinner. Allez & D’accord
bounce up from the street. I have just painted
my nails Purple with a Purpose. Already, little nicks
from impatience appear on their slick surface.
I should have waited to pet the cat.
From the stereo, you sing,
There is nothing sadder than losing yourself
in love. Thirty years ago you saw me dancing
with a dangerous boy — a guitarist, on tour,
still drunk with new success. You shot me
a warning glance and later offered, Be careful.
Don’t give it all away.
I used to think I could make the night
catch its breath. I used to think I could shatter glass
with my delight, draw love to me like a compass needle
to True North. Tonight, I understand that waiting is not
doing nothing. One cannot force a cat to do anything.
Nail lacquer dries when it dries.
Elizabeth Iannaci is a widely-published and anthologized L.A.-based poet, whose work appeared recently in 1001 Nights: 20 Years of Redondo Poets, Saranac Review, Pentimento, Crab Creek Review, and Main Street Rag’s Suspense Anthology. She earned her MFA in Poetry from VCFA, has one son, and is partially-sighted, which may account for her preference to paisley over polka dots. In the mid-to-late 70s, she had the pleasure of working with Led Zeppelin and Swan Song Records. Her most recent chapbook is The Virgin Turtle Light Show: Spring, 1968 (Latitude 34 Press).
Photo Credit: Staff