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L’inconnue de la Seine

by Seni Seneviratne

  • There was a swell on the surface of the Seine that day
  • making faces at me. So I blew kisses at an open mouth
  • and whispered, ‘Drown me peaceful, drown me slow.’
  • I wanted the time, you see, to float undead through Paris,
  • I could have choked on a glass of milk as a child
  • and missed this opportunity. Don’t call it suicide
  • as if it’s a tragedy. This was the first time in my life
  • I had been in control of anything. Imagine, not dying
  • but dissolving, becoming a river. Was I afraid?
  • Not of the fall. I was afraid of the Water Police,
  • the way they walk along the river, any one of them
  • could have seen me floating, but nightfall saved me.
  • Before the river had me, I had one last look at the stars
  • ‘Just look at you,’ I said, ‘already dead and still shining.’

Previously published in:

  1. Ten: New Poets from Spread the Word; ed. B. Evaristo & D. Nagra, 2010.
  1. Also in this issue, an interview with Seni Seneviratne:
  2. Living the Question: An Interview with Seni Seneviratne


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