The trash cans on the streets in Paris are rings with bomb-deterrent transparent green plastic liners, full of Evian bottles, boulangerie wrappers, discarded clothing, paper bags, empty lipstick tubes, magazines, tampons, shoe laces, cigarette packs, maps, napkins, wood, lace, braids, cold packs, diapers, mold, flies, crime reports, wings, rocks, hair, teeth, bones.
We save our bread bags, pastry wrappers, cereal boxes to make art with, and discard it all while packing.
A Knight Comes.
Un chevalier vient, they say. Fairy tale subversive, he armors, as he boils coffee over a hand built fire. What fire is not hand-built. The flesh shivers whores and diplomats. Can't swim in the Seine, though I've seen them do it. Drunk, unafraid of hepatitis. The pickpockets work in pairs. A taxi driver tells us, there is a market in, how you say...cannabis? You mean weed? I say and the international gesture of the toke. Yes he exclaims. Growing weeds. Who rescues you? What is rescue? Is this a game, a concept, a philosophy or a prison? is this a strong arm that twists your logic? Birds are not made wingless by some fear of instinctual flight. An acquired taste—fear things we need. Knots of worry form the civilized net. It is natural to want to impregnate every female, men are born with the brain of a lizard. If we were never chickens, if we were never chickens. He follows me to the feminist books, looking for pictures of ass. His armor is ornate and impenetrable, saintly even, we go look at abandoned buildings on fire and think of our minds when they run wild, flames in wind.
Nowhere is safe, no book or alley will kill your appetite, running from debt in your glass shoe, with no castle window. Are you thinking of the future? Are you thinking of paranoia as a kind of affliction that keeps informing your decisions? A kind of Rumplestiltskin panic, oh please spin this for me i'll do anything, and who gets stuck holding the spindle in a room full of straw.
Underwater for you.
Into the Seine, I've seen them. Last summer two drunken girls and a boy jumped in. Husband found in Seine. Daughter. Wife. Mother. An endless blood froth seeps, comes from the cracks, washed up from the Barriere d'Enfer, the southern lip of the ancient city. The mottled ridge of her brow, nose down in the black under the bridge.
A transformative sidewalk bed must have made him mean, fingering the crowd, growling at the passers-by grizzled beard pointing accusing he'd smooth it in a thoughtful minute then the sidewalk free of curses walk by in jeans and shirt not dressed to target beggars you speak engliss? I shrug, universal gesture of don't know don't care move on no more words, the shuff of feet in the rue, all the pretty shoes high heels delicate, in my clunky America shoe, America embarrasses me, because it's underwater. Les Etats-unis elicits a nod and a tight lipped