Sélection de Vin de Proprietaires
Your cheekbones jut polar-hued in the daemon light
of a smartphone screen into which you text home
your version of Paris as if it’s a fact: synaptic
shimmer of moon on the river, gaslights of the certain
café, the stop-motion theatric of so many perched Rodins,
but in a story about Paris, you shouldn’t bother with these
or with pigeons and the cathedral, with hatchbacks
and hatchbacks and scooters on a Rue, with the hours agog
in the Pompidou supplicant beneath all of that barking art.
In a story about Paris, you shouldn’t mention Paris,
which is an idea baroque and embellished as God.
Of course the street names are hummed ditties,
the crosswalks are keys of a courtly piano, and you order
a Côtes du Rhône as if there’s a metaphysic in it then sing
a merci to the server as if all gratitude is music,
all music gratitude, which it probably is, but
I still haven’t figured how everyone here wears a scarf
in the kitchen heat of summer, how they all smoke
and nobody runs and if they do we never see anybody panting.
Don’t they have interest payments? Have they no finicky
circuit or jittery transistor? Do their supply lines never corrode,
their bodies never go to Les Centres de Santé to ride gurneys
like black taxis from the Pont Oncologie to the Place Radiologie
where the apparition of the brain meat is petals
on a black bough and all of that but also arteries
and gutters and zones, so the pulp of the mind emerges
a city we also inhabit on holiday from a native state,
a more permanent occupation, the self as a tourist fiction?
I suppose they must, but you wouldn’t know by looking
at them, which is what makes me feel so foreign and gloomy
and in Paris no less! which is better than Boise
or flat Tampa, and I’m with you! even your thumbs
are exuberant as the fizz in a Vichy water, the plum sex
of your scarf, your swift cigarette, you look so authentic,
I’d almost believe it’s the 61st minute of the 25th hour.
The pigeons are fat oboes, the cathedral thinks it’s a dove.
My name is Elise, yours is Henri, we’ll loiter here, my liege,
for two thousand, two hundred, and sixty-two years.