This poem is not a film.
This poem does not have a thirteen million dollar budget
and is not directed by Martin Scorcese.
It does not star Meryl Streep or Harvey Keitel
and consequently has limited box-office appeal;
it will not go out on national release.
This poem is not showing twice nightly,
nor will you be admitted for only £2.40 before six on weekdays.
This poem was not made in Cinemascope or Eastmancolor;
it does not have a Dolby soundtrack.
This poem comes without subtitles.
This poem will be a poem.
This poem promises to break all its promises, including this one.
It will resist analysis by semioticians
and the critics of weighty journals.
This poem undertakes to do its level best not to be post-modern.
On the contrary, it will be about the love of women.
This poem will be about the yearning induced
by the glimpse of a breast.
Leading roles in this poem have been offered to Anne Wiazemsky
and Michel Piccoli; the breast will be owned by the former
and it will be offered for the caress of the latter.
This poem looks forward to receiving their replies before
it changes its mind.
This poem has changed its mind.
This poem will travel north to Old Shore More
where it will walk its dog along the beach;
it will collect perfect nacreous razor-shells and pieces of quartz,
and clean them of their silt in pools.
This poem will walk backwards into the wind.
You may eat ice-cream during this poem –
there will be no intermission.
You may smoke.
During this poem you may, gently but unambiguously,
touch the knee of your neighbour;
you may, if you are sitting in the back row, enter a clinch.
This poem does not have a credit sequence:
there was no gaffer or chief grip;
there were no special effects in this poem.
At the end of the poem, you may remain seated
for the playing of the national anthem.
After this poem, the doors having been thrown open,
you may go out, dazzled, into the late afternoon sun,
having forgotten that it was not night.