Third-Wheeling in Paris by Arnaldur Stefansson

Third-Wheeling in Paris by Arnaldur Stefansson
Photo by Earth / Unsplash

Shivering in a thin jacket amidst
an ascending wave of people.
“Beware of pickpockets” the overhead sign
warned in half-a-dozen different languages.
I was already closed up, both hands in pockets–
not open for business.

The ancient elevator labored upwards, finally
rusty mesh gates opened– we streamed

into that sea of lights,
one thousand feet beneath us.

Surrounded by
rusted iron, frozen to the touch,
I wished for gloves.

The lovebirds I accompanied
asked me to take some pictures–

of course I couldn’t deny them,
I had no other reason to be there.

Comfortable in each other’s company,
happiness gleaming in eyes
tilted toward each other
a kiss to seal
their perfect
romantic night.

My purpose fulfilled,
I kept on shivering beside them.
My well-worn jacket was not enough,
I had no one to help battle
   the cold

so my remaining time in the clouds was spent
peering down into Parisian night,
longing, perhaps, for Cupid himself
to soar through the city,
ascend the tower,
and help guide me to warmth
I couldn’t attain on my own.

The descent was just as terribly cold.