Paris- Within Me

What is it about you that daily replaces you In front of my eyes

No matter how far from you I travel?

Were you the first one I saw from above

With your grey slates,

Smokeless chimneys

And laddering towers to the Gods?

Specs of gallant green

Among your columns and follies,

Your marching boulevards

Like lines of proud soldiers-

Brandishing the Tri-Color

For fear the memory of Marie Antoinette

May fall forsaken.

The whitened Sacred Heart

Upon your butted highest spot-

Where Saint Denis fell to martyrdom

Long before the painters-

Doused in Absinthe-

Captured the high-kicking,

Rouged-up damsels

Amid the Moulin’s endlessly turning sails.

Your very own Taj Mahal-

Not so in keeping

With your concrete corinthian cornices

And grotesquely glaring gargoyles

And yet so missed when no longer in view.

And there,

Standing as proud as your citizens,

By the far reaches

Of your once bohemian Left banks,

Where cheers of toasts were often heard

Amid the enlightened quarrels of Sartre,

In praise for the flat-shoed Stein

And sorrow for the almost exiled Wilde,

Lies your most celebrated folly of all;

Your monstrous clunk of iron-

Within who’s restaurant Maupassant

Would willingly dine to be excused

From the very view in which he sat,

Which melted itself into the heart of me.

More than a dozen times

Have I scaled your heights

To always draw a fresh breath of awe

Upon the sight from your summit,

Like the minute memory of the goldfish;

Immeasurably forgetful

But struck again and again

By the beauty of its surroundings

As if witnessed for the first time.

Your streets planned out before me

With cars racing onwards,

Inwards and through-

So much like the blood

Pumping through the entangled archeries

Of my beating heart.

I am a million miles from you again,

On top of the world of another city

And yet you are next to me

Wherever I stand,

In front of me

No matter what I see

And beating

Still so fresh and fervently

Deep down

Within me.

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