Monday, April 9, 2007
avoiding the cold rain above,
the crowded street corners,
the uneven cobblestones.
he's tucked himself beneath a blue bench
on the south-bound seven line.
as the car brakes and accelerates
at each stop, i can see his body rock.
i can only imagine that he must,
for a moment,
just before the doors open and close,
remember a time
when arms rocked him instead of steel
when those who crowded around to stare
wrote poetry about his potential, not his predicament.
With its antique wood
And heavy green curtains,
I can hear, through paper-thin walls,
The voices of neighbors.
Beneath me, lives a small cluster of boys,
Their airless room filled with smoke and house beats.
Above me, an old man sits quietly looking out the window,
The political debates humming in the background.
And just beside me, hanging on the other side of the mirror,
Is a middle-aged women and her gaggle of friends.
They wade knee-high in jams and teas.
Their voices occasionally flicker beneath our door,
Peering in our peep-hole, oozing through our locks.
And sitting quietly in the silence of my room,
I drain their conversations through my language ability,
A colander built from a sophomore semester of French.
I pull out a handful of words,
Then spend the rest of the day
Rearranging them on my pillow
Sunday, April 1, 2007
The center of its spokes and wheels.
I am the point about which arrondisements spiral,
The direction of the Triumphal Way.
I am the words and bread,
The wine and wind,
The flowers hanging from Haussmann balconies.
I am the slow pull of the water
And the the stubborn push of the land.
I am the broad shoulders over which
The Seine is bent.
I am the toasts
I am the kiss
I am the one to whom St. Genevieve still points.