Shadows of Paris

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In honor of Eric D. Lehman’s novella Shadows of Paris winning the Silver Medal from Foreward INDIES Book Award, here is my poem from Lune de Miel.

 

History of a Table

 

The bar where Henry Miller drank

tenders a thin table beneath a mirrored wall

scoping author’s portraits and patrons who filter

into booths and pout with espresso mouths.

I am only apprenticing Paris. We’ve scrapbooked

ourselves here to dip into the ink of artists like us

who came to loot and ransack the city, to hunt

amid gray, cobbled streets, take the surly and brooding

pelt of phenomenon and deposit a littered alphabet

of new and debaucherous talismans. My pen

trembles, and I ache to write myself into a version

of original sin, revel in the profanity of life,

and spit into my inkwell.  Beneath Hemingway

my new husband scribbles in his moleskin.

I fix my eyes toward the ring on his hand.

 

By the time my cocktail abandons me

I have taken custody of the deserted chronicles

left long ago on tap handles and between floorboards.

My husband closes his book; we leave on the table

a handprint of coins and a pocket of space.

The apprenticeship ends with the looted winter air

sweeping us into the amulet of the Paris night.

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