My Freedom Lawn
We're Not in Paris
We’re not in Paris so much as we’re in
our story about Paris.
Lost in the nightlessness of midsummer’s eve,
in the lost arrondissement of the honey moon,
every cobblestone of Rue de Debauche
murmurs like Baudelaire’s L’homme ivre d’une
umbre qui passes—Men, crazed with shadows
that they chase—
every Musee des Arts Mort enshrines works
so famous we can’t see a face, a mountain,
a flower any other way—
it’s like God himself was an impressionist—
haunting us as we stumble through our
second sleepless night.
It is the dream of lovers.
It is the story of women who wash
their faces in tonight’s fallen dew,
hoping to become more beautiful—
their beauty the passé partout to the only
thing that really matters.
What art will hold them?
Whatever croissants the boulangers bake,
whatever oldies the metro musicians cover,
whatever promises the sidewalk sex workers dangle—
snap the photos and pass them by.
We breathe out the slow le sigh of Sartre’s ennui,
dissolve into the anonymous crowds
along the boulevards,
write our own billet doux to Paris
over petite dejeuner in the morning.
John A. Blackard