Our guide, Jean-Jaques,
tells us stories,
Marks a map as I
explore a city of death
with ex-patriot friends.
We pass grandiose memorials.
Angels and antichrists decompose
beside housewives and saints.
Fading lipstick kisses polka dot
Oscar Wilde’s neutered sphinx.
According to rumor, a bureaucrat
anchors his paperwork with
the severed stone sex.
Someone has stolen Jim Morrison’s
bronze bust, a poppy and twist
of marijuana left in its place.
Gertrude Stein holds her final soiree
among deceased literati.
I touch her stone sarcophagus.
Effigies of the Buchenwald slaughtered
hold hands and dance.
Paris at Midnight
Lovers contemplate moonlight on water,
embrace, share their dreams, hidden by shadow.
Passing bateaux overflow laughter,
cheering students, trail distant music.
Along the left bank, book sellers and bistros,
colorful backdrops for romantic drama.
Passion rumbles from ancient stones.
Fountains pulse and arouse.
Along the Seine, three empty pill vials,
abandoned brassiere and violet thong hint of scandal.
All I’ve ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
– Leonard Cohen
It’s a certainty you made demoiselles swoon
with your brash, rogue demeanor.
I know your type—too quick-witted for your own good,
lacking sense to evade insulted avengers.
You excelled at wounding with words,
wicked ink striking deep from innocent cover.
This time, your cornered prey drew his own loaded weapon.
Even beyond the grave, your bronzed body swaggers.
The lonely and barren come after darkness,
caress your permanently turned cheek.
Mute muse of the erotically forlorn,red carnations and adoration can’t warm you.