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Summer in Paris

ISSUE:  Fall 2006

       What the song doesn’t say: romance
will cost you. Both sides are forced to pay
       unequally: a picnic ruined
             when day-old strawberries were found
       to be wanting, the cheese monger
unloading seventeen euros’ worth
       of farm-fresh cow and goat instead
             of that modest chunk of Livarot
       we’d been craving. Always someone
wanting more than another’s able
       to deliver, the afternoon
             casting shadows even as we ran
       around the arcing latticed base
of the Eiffel Tower, unaware
       memory’s irrational assault
             was underway where the calm river
       bends, the body contemplating
feelings divorced from a mind pickled
       in last night’s binge—half-remembered
             pleasures that returned as a pygmied
       throng—a carcass slit from anus
to throat where the steaming entrails spilled
       into the dust. And if we drank
             to the dream of an eternal love
       over sautéed chanterelles, kir
royales fizzing up the fluted glass
       as we carved into foie gras baked
             in pastry modeled into a crusty
       house (my marriage over)—La note,
s’il vous plaît
—we had indeed grown fat
       for slaughter, would taste a deeper salt.



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