Well, Paris was all it had ever been, will ever be for me. We walked a lot, we ate too much, we were happy despite the rain and the white Londonesque skies. There isn’t much I could say that I haven’t already said in a poem that I wrote a few years ago and features rather prominently early on in my poetry play Dreams of May. So rather than ramble on prosaicly, I thought I’d just show it to you here.

The Honesty Bar

There was an honesty bar
in the little hotel
at the back of the Place des Vosges.

Take what you want, sign your name.
The offerings were tantalizing:
two bottles of wine, three kinds of whisky,
liqueurs I didn’t recognize.

But honestly, I wanted Pernod,
wanted to sit with a glass smelling of liquorice,
pour water in and watch the world become a cloud.

To be really honest . . .
I wanted absinthe, whatever that it is,
illegal, I think, liquid opium, maybe,
that drink destitute Parisian writers shared
with bohemian women, a drink
to be afraid of, to speak French to
within a cloud of smoke.

I wanted to walk into the Place at night,
a little worse for wear,
and hear footfalls of horses on cobbled streets,

to see shadows of lovers beneath distant lamplights,
be the shadow of a lover beneath a distant lamplight,

wear a turban
and a slit up the side of my dress,
fishnet stockings and heels like poison-tipped arrows,

to sip absinthe within a surreal haze
and be lost within a romantic age.

Honestly, that’s what I wanted.