Sunday, February 6, 2011

Walking to Church in Paris

We walked the bright sidewalk on our way to the Métro
Passing a café overflowing with tables, strangers in sunglasses
Crumbling pastries and drinking tiny white cups of espresso
They saw us through their beards and hats and brown jackets
Watched me in my white blouse and tweed skirt
And my sister and her polka-dotted dress
Waiting for the crosswalk, we glanced both ways for hurried buses
Flailing taxis, confusing foreign drivers
And strode across the road
Meeting the white pavement on the other side
We turned toward the tiles of the underground
And started down the stairs,
Stuck with old black gum,
Littered with cigarette butts,
A crumpled napkin blowing east
Shirtless, mad and bearded, someone brown and weathered
Climbing the short staircase we were just coming down
"Jolies filles Françaises,"
He half-muttered, half-shouted at me, and SLAP
And my arm was pink,
And I held my breath,
And I hurried down.


  1. Sounds kind of scary. Did some random man really slap you? Also, sounds a lot like New York. Are they similar (do you know)?

  2. Yep, true story. Um, I haven't spent more than a week or so getting to know either city. Both are cultural and commercial epicenters, of course, but they're architecturally and culturally very different. In that vein, here's a blog I love: