He was French,
“Pieds noir” they called him
In the streets of Toulouse,
The French can be crass like that,
But when he walked shyly over to where I sat,
I only noticed his eyes, like two warm cups of dark coffee,
And I wanted to take a sip.
The way he couldn’t speak English,
And so I tripped through my burgeoning fluency
In French, tinged with that accent so prominent in the south;
Endings of words extended, emphasized with a flippant
Toss of the head, like
“T’es tres mignonne, toi.
Tu veux aller te promener avec moi?”
Yeah, I blushed at that one and took his hand,
Yes, yes, I said, I would walk the streets and these
Endless sands of this fairy tale Mediterranean Eden
Down by the waters of Languedoc he told me,
“When you are not here, tu me manques,”
And later, holding my hands in an Algerian restaurant,
He finally said “je t’aime.”
And so, I decided I would give it all to him,
In the depths of the night near the river,
I gave this French boy with mahogany eyes,
The gift of my first time,
And I haven’t a single regret.
A true story of a magical spring and summer in France when I was just nineteen. I knew I would never see him again and I never did, but that hasn't dampened the magic of the memory.
"T'es tres mignonne, toi. Tu veux aller to promener avec moi": You are very cute/sweet. Do you want to take a walk with me?
Tu me manques: I miss you.
Je t'aime: I love you.