Paris Elegy #5

by John Macker

We roared with them in Paris
We were a million strong in our hearts
we broke ourselves against the vanishing
shore ice, against the desert noir under
our feet, against the soft raiments of lasting
love.  They blasted us out of our saddles
for our satiric cartoons, the drifting passivity of
the Seine swelled with rivers of bloodied streets,
for every paint or word slinger turning over in his or her grave,
a Villon, some Rimbaud, some Picasso lying un-
deterred at heaven’s gate, tried to broker the peace
with their spirits.  Nobody would be cured, cursed, or saved,
but the words will always flow into the undisturbed
pearlescence of the river.  In the half-light
end of the day only the dead are praised for their
poise, we’ll still scratch our words and images vive le France!
on the walls of every via dolorosa on earth where a
hemisphere of shadows dance and our offerings are made whole by the indiscriminate quills of the sun.