imageTaylor Graham
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Parapluies – enough plosives
in that word to blow apart a pair
of lovers. You and

I at some little movie house
where they showed foreign films and
you figured we wouldn’t be seen.

You in trench coat (shabby-
genteel), collar turned. I
in a flyaway yellow scarf,

trying to learn a brand-new
language. Tip of tongue against
palate, a welled-up breath, and

what the lips do. That plosive “p”
released with the trapped
vowel, to lend sweet music

to a leaving. Rain.
When I’m alone,
vacuuming the house or

driving to the windshield wipers’
rhythmic erasures,
that theme returns to mind.

You were adept at translation.
I didn’t know umbrellas
meant goodbye.