Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Paris in the Summer.
Hot and sticky, thunderstruck.
Queues and Mona Lisa smiles,
Catch the visitor’s smiles, anxious not to miss a sight,
Miles of queues and bag searches.
Asian tourists hungry for the Western world.
Taking the biggest strides, to stand beside,
The Eiffel Tower and discover
It has a non-magnetic surface
It has surly and sour café staff
It is claustrophobic and spectaclular
It has pigeons and peculiar shapes.
We came back to escape.
Ride the Metro to the pavement, rides the pavement,
Beggars sing or testify to passengers, misunderstood,
Read aloud your life and misery,
And move to the next carriage to beg again.
Snaking Seine. Grey and brown.
Square and angular financial sector, business blanked out and trafficless,
Eat ice cream and drink cold beer.
Hear and see, sniff the air and don’t care, we are the tourists here,
This is not our city, but for a few short hours, it is.
Arches and triumph, lost cars and double parking.
Look for a bus, look for the exit.
Take us to the country; take us to the quiet again,
This is not our city, this is Paris.