there is a bridge covered in locks
some with no keys, some sealed with long-forgotten combinations
some quietly closed with ribbons, with twine
there is a cathedral owned by gargoyles
pigeons and peasants
there is a tomb covered in small stones
flower petals, metro tickets, teeth, candy, gratitude
another tomb queerly smothered in lipstick kisses
still another dares us to break on through
to the other side
i got pooped on by a bird
while gazing up at the bell tower of notre dame
there are few times in a life you get that lucky
so i took this as a great and good sign
there is an art store on blvd. edgar quinet
right beside cynthia’s house of croissants
and confiture and catacomb secrets
the five-spoked wheel of montparnasse will never be solved
there are names that will forever soothe me
raspail. vavin. les gobelins.
place de la concorde. sacre-couer.
gare du nord. austerlitz.
this place felt like home the first time i breathed
in its sexy hot metal tang, its pink-grey scaffolding,
its sour-sweet sewer pong, its metro b.o.,
its cafe au lait, its legendary light
its arrogant smirk
the louvre. d’orsee. marmattan. pompidou.
l’orangerie. champs-elysees. l’arc du triomphe.
roland garros. louis quatorze.
piaf. monet. manet. dufy.
vincent slept here, and pablo.
ernest. gertrude and alice. toulouse lautrec.
all the genius ghosts.
rue mouffetard. the latin quarter. les halles. defence.
it’s shakespeare & co., stained glass and merlot.
it’s vervaine & lemongrass soap, striped marine shirts
and blue ascots. it’s berets and bastille,
brie on a baguette, pain au chocolat
steak-frites and pickpockets and a plethora of bad smells.
and it’s love.
it’s love and romance, this city of light
this city of forever light in your heart, your essence
amour mama, not cheap display
you either love it or hate it,
this infuriating frustrating glorious
demon-angel of a city
it’s bonne mama abricots on a still-warm,
it’s slinky underwear and stilettos and a million androgynous scarves
it’s drinking wine from the bottle on your tiny front step
perfume and tulips in the tuileries
fountains and bees, creperies and gauloises
veuve-cliquot and trains and bonjour, allo, d’accord, d’accord
it’s anguish and liberte and fraternite
it’s haughty and magnifique and cold
it’s paris and it’s gorgeous
it’s paris and it’s burning
it’s a man on a street piano playing imagine
nothing to kill or die for
no religion too
imagine all the people
living life in peace
to a broken