France in September by Janice D. Rubin

That autumn I lived in l’Hotel de la Petite Fleur
in the old part of Nice, la Vielle Ville.
The room, four flights up
a narrow winding staircase built during the Inquisition.
The walls a light brown Italian plaster.

Walking through the ancient streets
to the sun crested blue promenade
past a noisy market. A medieval gothic church
spires, stained glass: faces of saints
expressions of ecstasy.

Pigeons congregated
on the marble steps in sets of three
like siblings celebrating
a nephew’s wedding
exchanging the family news.

I met with friends in cafés
drank red wine through the afternoon
talked of plans to travel
Greece in October
Spain in the Spring

I understood the French life
the passion of love and food
the intuitive voices echoing within.