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For Apollinaire

ISSUE:  Spring 2012

The river goes under the Pont Mirabeau …
The green trysting trees in July breeze,
the tourists and their summer hats, the SOLDES
signs in every plate-glass window. The river
goes under the Pont Mirabeau. I wanted
to make you feel the heat of the sun, the stirring
of breeze. I wanted to redeem
the day, having woken like a broken toy
on a bed I could not remember making,
a life shaping up to slip by
so fast there never was time to change it,
winding it back crank by crank
even as it went slipping, spooling forward …
I went into the boulangerie,
slipping, spooling forward, and asked
in halting French for ham and cheese, the river goes
under the Pont Mirabeau, I wanted this,
and I wanted that, I wanted—what did it mean
to be a river sliding under the white arches?
The ponts are trivial, the water is fresh,
the terminal is here where I go under
the city, slipping forward even when I
am heading back, unsure of what it means.
the river above me under the Pont Mirabeau,
the green and trysting trees.
Where they ever there or were
they just ideas made up by me
to feel once more the this of the sun, the that of the breeze
the white wall already
turned to brick.


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