Around a bend in the canal,
you can follow straight into paradise
or plummet over the falls.
Either way, blood sings as blood must
in the confines of its yearning.

You leave in the wake the rustle
of leaves along the banks, a blue heron
fishing the shallows, a white horse whinnying
as it canters across a field–

all that the eyes adore and cannot bear
to look away from, disappear as the Luciole
enters the locks and descends to the next level
like a coffin lowered into the grave.

For dinner the chef prepares foie gras
followed by pasta carbonara, a soufflé,
pale yellow and puffed as anticipation.
This explosion in the mouth soon becomes
bland as pablum, as the barge slips into port.

Take heart from the lock-keeper–
you will flow into the river on the other side
and glide toward the distant towers cloaked in mist.