Paris, 1970


Doisneau might have eyed and shot us


for how brazenly and rapaciously we kissed,

my red pumps akimbo on the cobbles,

you peeling off my silvery raincoat,

the poplars in the Bois de Boulogne 

swaying, turning up silvered leaves.

We were as tender and ductile as fronds,

curled up in each other in pathos, in glory, 

cooling down only deep in the night

when we wandered back to our hotel 

to sleep entwined and inwardly-leaning  

on that sour broken-springed mattress,

our room’s one window drawing dawn’s

lines and arcs––chimneys, rooftops, domes.

What did they think of us using together

the floor’s common bath––pipes knocking,

water swirling through the bidet––you

straddling it trying to wash your scrotum,

my belly muffling your laughter? 

We could not have helped it, dissolving 

back into kisses, into resurrections,

sprinting like fawn and satyr to our room, 

wishing the disdainful doe-eyed desk clerk 

gone, when, past noon, we’d stride out 

again to gambol and ogle and gawk, eat

and drink, kiss and talk, our bodies opening

and flaunting themselves like two blooms 

of hibiscus because we were in Paris, the city 

set aside for creatures in our enlarged, 

engorged condition––and time was ripe. 

                                                                   from The Banquet: New & Selected Poems