ILLUMINATION
Published in

ILLUMINATION

We Should Probably Thank Our Most Pretentious Parisians

a poem paying Paris her due

Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

One Hundred Days of Gratitude. Forty.

Oui, right. Right
outside of Paris there’s a place that’s not quite, euh
on the same level of living.

A place with a less euh, sophisticated style
and a less mmm perfect face.

A place, called
“how do you say…
Everywhere Else”

Bring the good wine up
from the cellar.
Bring the good glasses down
from the shelf.

Just ask anyone else
who can easily afford her most expensive parts
who doesn’t dare make it
but has been heard to say at the cafe that they
“work in the arts”

silver cuillère in hand
City of Love in their hearts.

Still — as the banks of the Seine at 6 AM, or the heavy gray train
steaming at Gare du nord before it departs—I thank our American God’s
fine French counterpart

for that particular passion for the particular
(that some have the American audacity to libelously label as pretension)
for the extra French dimension

where people don black
berets and bandanas
and black mascara in the rain
as if it was something they could do
— so they do.

It’s vraie.
It’s true.

No damned Américain
would dare dream of demanding a crêpe both that fluffy and that thin
of carrying a cigarette with such effortless elegance
of putting such a cool spin on sin
of being depressed with such ease
again and again

of perfuming the breeze, and
changing how the whole world spells beauty
of looking out at all of humanity and saying non, merci
But maybe you can dress like me?

Fuck kissing, there’s a reason we all want to fuck
with and like
the French.

A reason our fanciest foods are at least a blend
with fine French cuisine

and sipping Bordeaux in Bordeaux
for anyone in the know, is the dream.

Look at the stitching and the seam.

It seems, to moi, that if I had the true taste of Paris in my teeth
I would be less tempted to eat
anywhere else.

Pour the good cognac!
Please, help yourself.

Raise a small beautiful glass
and à ta santé
to supposedly pretentious Paris

Merci France, Merci Pari, Merci.

Where else would we
picnic in perfect silence and find love

sipping champagne

in
the fog?

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paulmartincurry

paulmartincurry

likes / wants / needs to write poetry apparently