This poem is taken from Stand 221, 17(1) March - May 2019.

Jo-Ann Mort Poem
Paris

We visited the Louvre where at least one prince reeled in his own reverie.
Trocadero, where you took my picture to freeze my love for you forever.

In a bar near the Odeon, we toasted your friends who lost wives and lovers
to illness, madness, envy, or hate.

Then, at Orly, I sat for half the night grounded by fog, thinking should I call you
or wait for your return a week later?

For you, it was 1968 all over again, when the cry of the students was a flaming
brush on the charcoal sky, when you ran across Europe to stand at the barricades.

‘I thought the Revolution had arrived,’ you confided over vodka and tears. But even then,
there was your return ticket, the moments erupting into seconds of disarray.

All before the Gulag, Cambodia, tenure, child support,—before the 1980s
made the entire world resemble a vast America that so gracelessly smothered desire.

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