V. How (from Lutèce, te amo)

to square the barricades, the FFI, the jimmying of rocks

     from boulevards –

those appareils of Baron H’s anti-communista vistas –

     with Papon

or Pétain; the sandbags, the barbed-wire, the rifle cocked


and gripped, incongruous – a hand-me-down four-quarters


resting on the shoulder of some prodigious tot –

     and the trains

trundling out of Drancy, the gendarmes waving au revoirs.


And then, come to think of it, the only part of the plot

     of Baldwin’s

Another Country I remember – Yves, I think, remarking

     that all

Americans are racists, exhibiting his Gallic amour-propre


and here, on the Boulevard, this black woman pushing

     white tots.

How indeed. The bakers fill the street with un parfum

     of buttered wheat;

a pregnant beggar slumps near-by, slowly starving.


Downriver, Les raboteurs awaits my rapt attention.

Unpublished poem from Lutèce, te amo, © Ahren Warner 2012, used by permission of the author

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