Erat quippe in ipsa civitate Parisius adolescentula quedam nomine Heloysa, neptis canonici cuiusdam qui Fulbertus.
Why do I seek the living among the dead
she is not here
In Paris I was aquiline
my face eagle, noble, trimmed
in that place of rolled scrolls
I left the iron mittens of fine lineage
sold my birthright and bought books.
The stain of bells rung out in filigree
bells and boredom
those brands of breeding, pedigree.
When she was there—
she had a face like war—
blessed be war, blessed be the name of war.
Gossamer-terror. Such a tenor to her jaw
her arms were like rods of gold
the grille for treasures, fin’amor.
It was the yellow of accidents that underlit her chin
and the overheated sunlight
seared my misfortune and my fame.
Gabriel Olearnik studied medieval history at University College London. He is currently an attorney and practices corporate law.