Calanque de Sugiton 
Christopher Louvet

After a picnic lunch
of saucisson, goat
cheese, baguette,
and chilled rosé,

we drove out
past Marseille
to the carpark
at the bottom

of the valley,
and took from there
the esplanade up
into the woods.

On the other side
the path down wound
steeply and wide until
just above the cove

where it narrowed
to hardscrabble
loosening rock and dirt
down to pebble beach

like a story unraveling
into beautiful chaos,
a summer day's
picturebook weather

felt in blood and bones
but unspoken until
then. When we leapt into
the icy blue-green

waters of the calanque
our hearts froze.
The skin of our bodies
contracted violently

against the plunge,
our rings nearly
slipping from fingers
as the cold cored us.

We thought this is what
it feels like to never
not feel this again.
A universe that before

didn't exist suddenly did,
a continuous singular
eruption unfolding.
We rose into the sun

on the surface animated
with shivers, delirious
with light glinting
from water into eyes,

half-blind with wonder's
deep, shocked breaths.
Steep walls of eroded
limestone, dolomite,

and other carbonate strata
had much to say but
of course we were
not inclined to listen.

Instead, we took pictures.
We never saw them,
the camera stolen
from an antique shop

in Monterosso two days
later. This is all
we have left. Really
it's almost too much.

Christopher Louvet's many jobs have included soccer referee, ironworks factotum, software engineer, and dishwasher. His work can be found in Denver Quarterly, Washington Square Review, and online with McSweeney's Internet Tendency. His website is christopherlouvet.com, and he lives in Hanoi.


©2024 Volume Poetry
Join our mailing list:

Follow us on instagram.
Submit your work to Volume:

Site design by Nick Fogarty