Le Marais | Stephen House | Poetry

her voice caresses my moment and i snap too –

shaken back from the fog to this moment in Le Marais, where i have stopped my never-ending pacing, my foot peeling mind numbing crawl, all day and into the dawn. and she continues in words i can’t grip but should. i’ve been here awhile now in Paris. i must’ve been, the moroccan from the hotel eyes me and asks for rent, the baguette girl says bonjour. of course, i should speak french, but i can’t, i won’t, so i don’t.

she is looking at me with gentle calm, speaking in a kind of whisper.

‘no french from me mademoiselle. yes, i’m ok i think. merci. see, i do speak a little french and thank you. you with your smile are just what i need after that, just then. yes, i know you saw. i saw you watching. plenty of people were, weren’t they mademoiselle? i don’t know why. i hardly even remember what happened. i’m ok. it’s passed. i was just a bit lost. i’ve calmed down now.’

and i give a feeble smile that she returns, and for a moment we stare into each other’s eyes.


Photo by Chahriar Hariri on Unsplash


Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright, and actor. He’s had 20 plays produced with many published by Australian Plays Transform. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council for the Arts, and an Asialink India literature residency. He’s had two chapbooks published by ICOE Press Australia: ‘real and unreal’ poetry and ‘The Ajoona Guest House’ monologue. His next book drops soon. He performs his acclaimed monologues widely. Stephen’s play, ‘Johnny Chico’ has been running in Spain for 4 years.

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