“Bridge to Eternity,” acrylic on canvas, by Michael Lang, 2012. Used with permission.

by Carla Ferreira

They say in Avignon people dance on the bridge
that was either unfinished or fell apart—
no one remembers those folk stories anymore.

Two professors stood in line to dispense
their trays and one gray beard said to the other,
“I advise the young ladies in my class to never
marry on the promise of reform. You must change
the man before you take him.” When I walked
back to the dormitory, I thought of my grandmother
knitting lace when the afternoon hunched over
to listen to her intricate pattern, the clicking
of her needles. She has such a knack for consistency
and small detail.

It was a city of walls. A sacred city
rendered blasphemous with graffiti
and pigeons pecking bits of falafel scattered on
its streets. Six weeks with those walls, I never once made
it to the bridge; we thought of it; we let it go.

The Rhône passes through the city and lets
the talk of pedestrians and the parables enter its
soft current.

Our geography is no stranger to reformation.
We write over histories.
Some are unfinished or they fall apart.

omega man

Carla Ferreira works as an English language assistant in Bordeaux, France. “Hearsay” is her professional poetry debut.