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Robin Knight

A Bout de Souffle

Twilight, East Melbourne by Sir Arthur Streeton

I heard Belmondo died this week.
We ate one evening at the table next to his
on the terrace of Hotel L’Hermitage in La Baule.
I whispered to my wife:
“Oh my God, look, it’s Belmondo!”
She didn’t know who he was. Our six-year-old
daughter was busy with potato dauphinoise.

I basked in the adjacent glory of his tanned wrinkles,
his boxer’s nose: a giant the size of a regular man.
This was before the global financial crisis,
when my Blackberry was part of my body,
when I was master of a small universe.
This was before her brain tumour, long,
long before the pandemic took my business.

She’s gone ten years this year, L’Hermitage
is out of reach now. Our daughter just started
her last year of Film school – she’ll be leaving
to live in LA or Vancouver soon.
Whenever I relive that July evening, the three of us
at that table, Belmondo’s leathery cool,
I am breathless.


About the writer:
Robin Knight is a mixed-race writer in Sussex, with poetry published in Rattle, The North, SOUTH, Filling Station, The American Journal of Poetry, Griffel, The Dewdrop, The Whirlwind, Visual Verse, and elsewhere. He co-authored a History Press Folk Tale collection. His novel Coyote, set in 19th Century Mexico, is seeking publication.

Image: Twilight, East Melbourne by Sir Arthur Ernest Streeton (1867-1943). Oil on board. No size specified. 1889. Public domain.

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