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I saw Paris. I did.
I just did not see the Eiffel Tower.

Two metal studs, symmetrically placed
Below her full, african lips.
A yellow hippo on her lap,
Green paws, ears and snout.
Beauty circling below the ground.

Et si vous pouvait tout changer
En 24 heures?

We locked gazes. He walked straight
Into the arm of a swirling waiter,
Sending a shower of broken glass and coins
To give shine to the concrete walkway.
A circle dance all for me.

I saw Paris. I did.
I just did not see the Eiffel Tower.

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Termites ate the holy knee.
A black core is exposed. He still smiles.

Grave old men. So righteous
Their beards curl in symmetry.

Her bright yellow stockings match her earrings.

Swords cut the marble children
As if they were made of butter.

Saints smile or cry. There is not much
Of a difference really. If any.

“But, you know, I had my period and everything.”

Water rises in layers, stripes to hide his feet,
Knees, thighs. He covers himself with his fingers.

Blood streams like glory from his wounds, shines
Through his skull, spears the air with hemoglobin.

There, he says, there is something
About three going on here. She agrees,
Nodding more than twice.

Christ always leans towards his right shoulder,
Be it in wood, ivory or marble. Searching for a solid support.

Like the child in the stroller I see in the afternoon.

The window between
Sunrise and sunset shrinks,
And will soon be blown to smithereens
By the southwestern winds:
The man-eating storms.

As days become steeped in night we fear
No fictional vampires, but the real,
Crushing blow dealt
From the beckoning hand that uses
Slippery fish as bait. We go,
Shoulders raised towards the ears,

And head west. In the water-filled
Graves of our fathers we gather
Food to sustain the living.
The salt and gale leave prisoner’s lines
Along our eyes – one for each day;
Give us one more day. We tug
With bulging veins to slip silver
From the skeletons’ hands:

That legion, that ever-growing legion,
Scratching at the hulls. Their hair
Flows around our oars, their voice
Is carried by the waves.
Having held us at birth, they know
Our names, they call and ask
If our son is ready to be a man,
Like we were, at twelve,

And if we could bring the priest next time;
His holy water is but a drop
In the Norwegian Sea. They laugh
And lay the festive tables
For the season. Many friends,
Many relatives are invited.
To catch up, they say, and “tit for tat”.

This cathedral window view of a sunset
Is stunning in its beauty.
No stele can be more moving
Than our proud mountains.
These seagulls sing
A requiem for someone
Dear not yet departed.

I claimed my right to silk, velvet, lace, disgrace,
Wet my mouth with a truffle macaroon, sprinkled with gold,
Served on a dirty plate – I ate
It all, crumbs and tears gone cold,
Imploring more.

I played dutiful daughter, wife, the evening’s ballroom prize, muse of vice,
Walked in beauty, and danced, danced, danced in starlit gazes and nights,
With a delicate stocking torn – still sworn
To have it all: purrs, licks and pure cat fights,
Nails unveiled.

I met the man, the lord, soothsayer, life slayer,
Whose tongue turned cinders into fiery cardinal magma.
Lust, carnal lust, made purgatory seem a walk, and balk
I did not, never stopped by stigma;
I burned, unconcerned.

I was fed, adored, glutted, then gutted
To suit his desire, then thrown to the pack.
A better place for this leg of lamb: Bedlam.
A skeleton still stalks his scentless track.
But Byron? Gone.

How deep is his pocket,
How far spreads his grip?
The sound ripples spread from the coin that slips
From top to bottom, the sound of a psalm.
How deep is his pocket,
How deep is the sea?

How wide is his pocket,
How big is his hand?
Do fingers explore every thread of land,
The warps and wefts that cover his palm.
How wide is his pocket,
How wide is the sea?

How black is his pocket,
How many the locks
Do crumble beneath his beguiling knock?
Salt water or oil his favours embalm.
How black is his pocket,
How black is the sea?