Paris by Catalina José Rodriguez

                                                     Dov Gertzweig © 2014

Paris is forsaken 
a beggar she became
could barely hold her drunken head
bent upon her shoulders
monumental limbs
curved once about the Seine
as centuries  
laid weighing one by one
the days of time grown old on her
All ruins and I breathe them 
as springtime tunes of flower market chimes
do quiver in my ear 
economize the noise 
(turned into sound) 
of footsteps walking those familiar paths 
I tramp the streets 
to find
(though haggard)
L’Hotel Meurice still grounded in the earth
A concierge wearing his habitual gown
extends a bony finger
unfolds a  handkerchief
“the rooftop offers no champagne today”
“et je regrette,”  he says
a tear or two are dripping down his cheek
his ghastly hand wipes all the damp away
but drops of cold moisten again his crown 
as I descend the stairs 
attempting to recall Molière, Racine, Corneille
I summon words long gone now from my sense
an empty breath cannot revive 
the blur of thoughts that circulate my brain
Oh gay Paris I do forget your name!
La brasserie downstairs is calling me
red noses wailing revolution chants
I order one Pastis to start the round
my mates inside the tavern toast to toast
encore un verre, un verre pour ce monsieur
I toast to you 
As Paris perishes beneath  
oblivion’s rising tide 

Catalina Jose Rodriguez © 2014


Catalina José  Rodriguez
is originally from Mexico City. In 1995 I moved to France, where I lived, worked, and studied for seven years. I earned my BA in Comparative Literature at AUP with a minor in Theatre Performance.