To the East of Ignorance

I had wanted to show you it all;

For you to revel

As much as I

In the magnificence I had seen

And felt.

Perhaps it was my fault-

In the extreme-

Maybe my blinkered view,

Like the race horse-

Seeing only the green of the track

And the glory of the win ahead

While missing the money hungry betters to the sides

And the jockey with whip behind.

But still,

The entire time your view

Saw only the concrete beneath your feet

As if you feared to place a step

Wrongly

And so lose your American footing.

You proved as cold

And impenetrable

As the surface upon which you walked,

Moved only by a metal banister

That you pleaded with me to photograph

Least your creativity

Failed to capture it.

Yet it was you who’d become captured;

Trapped in a foreign land

That you had longed to see

And yet failed-

So perfectly-

To look upon.

To create means more than just

Standing on the spot of inspiration.

You lolled about

Almost as inanimately

As the statues that surrounded us.

However,

Their shadows appeared to sway

In the sunshine

With so much more gusto than yours-

At least, until you fell needy

And your dull American twang

Rang out monotonously

To disrupt the ambience

And civility

That enchanted me

And washed over you

Like you were oil-based,

Cardboard cut-out,

Dull reflection

Of someone else-

Hardly remembered.

Alcohol loosened you

Along with athletic fumblings

In a beamed ceiling room

In Saint Paul,

But we were neither drunk

Nor naked

All the time,

Although it felt like I had stripped

Bare for you,

To show you my secret

Parisian life

That, malheurusement,

Over half the world shared.

In that tree-lined park

Below the radiant sunshine

I feigned sleep and watched you

Behind darkened shades

And wondered

Where you were.

You noted it strange how the boys played

Football

Instead of baseball

And I realized

That you had not even boarded the plane

Or removed yourself

From your ignorant States.

I chilled in the warmth,

Amid that sun-filled square,

On that Sunday afternoon

In July

As I watched you

Fall intrigued

By little boys at play

And your comic books

Became all the more

Disturbingly understandable.

photo-29

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