by Perry Thompson

Let him tell you about the Latin
Quarter at night, the smudged
smoke from a girl's
their breath in the mist,
how Notre Dame slept like the dead.

Let him tell you about the boy
and girl,
how they praised their
feet in the loud
night and danced on crowded
streets while young men paced the lanes shouting up to lovers
no longer home,
how the Eiffel Tower stood hinged to the sky.

In the memory palaces of Paris where armies
march forever and trucks roll down the avenues,
soldiers goose-step by the Seine and
the Metro, alive with jugglers, cautions lovers in the rain.

Let him tell you how the ticktock worm,
gross and quick,
stalks the borrowed rooms where lovers hack their wrists to let it out,
tremble as the last sad bliss
rises in steam above the noise and pulls the soul up after.

She left him on the platform as a train passed by.
Somewhere a transistor loudly
claimed -- Je ne peux m'obtenir aucune... satisfaction.
What matter the petty harm lovers do each other?
A thousand perished here.

Let him tell you of his nightmares, daguerreotypes -- the city
jacked with Nazis,
lovers disappearing on the boulevard of tanks,
Le Dauphin trembling in the dark,
news of Baghdad in ruins,
mensonges du dictateur américain aliéné.

Let him say how the Mona Lisa with its crush of tourists
no longer smiles.

Copyright © 2007 - Perry Thompson
Published: 2/22/07   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem