PARIS WAS THE PLACE

by Jake Reynolds

Paris was the place where everyone was all stripes and garlands
and the women were just beautiful cats squashed into Rorschach tests
and chain smokers found afternoon joie de vivre in Sartre’s Huis Clos

the place you took someone when things were Getting Serious
​in that New York snowfall romance way, just less hazardous
where bicycles trilled like birds to the nicotine laughter of accordions
and everyone was so thin you couldn’t see them side-on
​and in those times it felt like an empty place
where fashion wore itself as a dead mink around the neck
and the men were all seduction and pianos and well-groomed moustaches
and not much happened, but when it did you knew about it
and rich wines were the lifeblood of the city and croissants were sedatives
and frogs set up advice centres and emergency hotlines for the bereaved
and the Eiffel Tower was always in sight and bright like a lighthouse for the lost ​and tourists stood at the top and wondered how long the fall would be

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