The following excerpt is from my poem, “Father Chair”. My poetry will next appear in the upcoming edition of “Onthebus”.
SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY:
Pere Lachaise sits behind tall gates, across from a strip of seedy souvenir shops selling cheap mementos of past Parisians. It’s a crowded city of boulevards, streets and alleyways with no names, a baited trap I’ve fallen into where the dead stare at me from gold rimmed frames mounted atop their graves,their faces trimmed in black like that fun fair head in a box or that girl whose melon rolled down down down to the ground then bounced high as the red rubber ball I used to play four square with when the velvet ribbon wrapped ‘round her neck came untied. Dust to dust indeed. I slide on the slippery stones running between the rows and rows and rows of elevated tombs the color of the steel mill stacks that punctured the night clouds when I was little, back before they shuttered the plant and everybody fell ‘neath the frozen ground, lungs lined with ribbons of asbestos and a whole bunch of chemical compounds they still don’t have names for. I catch myself on the plot of a little girl named Miriam, a little girl the age of that child whose missing posters used to decorate the metro station walls ‘til they peeled away or were covered by one of those adverts for cheap English lessons, a little girl of seventy-nine, her marigold mane parted, primped and plaited, gazing at me with eyes that never knew mascara, lobes that never knew earrings, lips that never knew the kiss of life. Or maybe it just hadn’t been invented yet.
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