Summer Night Acrylic on Canvas 40 x 60 in 2002

Summer Night
Acrylic on Canvas
40 x 60 in

My friend was never rich
as I had been
the Winter had never been
so cold as it was now
darkness had never shone
so sulky as on the night
when we lay side by side
too weak to stand
too tired to crawl
giving warmth to each other
with the remnants of our souls.
It was then
at that very moment
–perhaps awoken by the distant shots–
that Josaleh asked me
if I had ever been to Paris.
I had almost forgotten
about my walks by the Seine,
with the cathedral on my back,
the smell of roasting mouton
pulling me and my wife
towards that restaurant’s terrace,
and the warm wind blowing
leaves and stars alike
making them fall
on the mirror waters
by the side,
and seeing the lights pass by
of houseboats and barges
on the way to the marts.
So I turned with a word in my mouth
but Josaleh’s eyes
were fixed on some memory
of his own,
there was no blink,
no breath,
no heart beat,
his extended arm
offering his blanket
in one last gesture,
but I was too weak
to say “thanks”
and I had no tears to cry.

Saul Balagura                 Dec 1, 1999