Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Semester Abroad

Do you mind if I steal a fry?
I can’t believe you hated France.
Marie was a monster, I know, but I
Met Marcel there at a dance.

The lad was clad in the cutest suit
Created by God—pure Gaultier.
Nothing naughty, you know, or rude,
Just a smile and black beret.

He called me his ‘little cabbage head,’
Although I was dressed as a sailor.
It was electric when we kissed,
Sur la Tour Eiffel—the elevator.

I was a student in Paris that spring,
Seeing how love and champagne
Affected American students.
My roommate threw up in the Seine,

Much to the merriment of Marcel.
“Americans are all the same:
So serious about your work.”
Marcel imagined life was a game.

The touch of his tongue felt like a dream,
So I said I was going to stay.
I would cable my mom for the money,
In Manhattan, the following day.

The war was in its infancy
Then. The news from everywhere grim.
We listened to the BBC
And watched the City of Lights grow dim.

The elevator halted. We
Poked our noses through the cage:
Not even night was visible.
Nothing. Rien. This ghostly image

Pleaded with me to spend a week
Together on the Côte d’Azur,
Sipping sangria, and skipping classes.
He knew a Hôtel, very secure—

The Mirage, I think. It was pink—
About a stone’s throw from the beach—
Across the street—the Rue de la Paix,
Or la Rue. Perhaps the porch was peach…

Well, all I recall is that Tower,
And Marcel moaning in my embrace.
When Hitler restored the power, I
Wiped his lipstick off my face.

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