Pressure in Atmosphere
Stop it he says, as if we are just anywhere,
watching the seasons get shorter. We’re
shrinking. We’ve never seen Paris.
We’ve never gone bowling. I’m overdramatic
and lacking in reason. I know. And
he sees it. He sizes me up, as I
fly in my frenzy: a pounder of doorjambs,
a dialing drunkard, the worst of my species, a Lady-
in-Waiting. I’m kissing his eyelids and grabbing
his jacket. They’re butterfly kisses.
He wants to live quietly.
April in Paris is so overrated. The Champs-
Elysee girls are walking in threesomes and playing
their eyebrow games. Fluttery women, those flaunters
of Prada, those calorie-tallyers. They would be
watching you hungrily, wooing you. Where is the joy
in this? Here we are, walking; it’s fall in Manhattan.
The women are hidden: they’re bundled in over-
coats, canvassing continents, safe in Chicago
or Denver or Iowa. You’re an adventurer hidden
in sweater-wool. Watch, I can move you. I’m tired
of moving. There’s Paris, Montmartre — a Paris
in comic strip colors, too bright. All the women
who lure you, they’re safe in Montmartre.
I’ll never unearth you, I’ll never be far enough.
Fighting for us is like thinking
in palindromes. Starting from scratch,
I was working toward something,
then pedaling backward, then there —
the beginning again, but it’s ended. So
what? — you respect me. We’re dancing
in circles, it’s frugal fandango — flamboyant
but fearful. The sky’s turning dizzying.
Losing momentum, the ground
is more comforting, rising to meet me.
You're firm, and I'm firmament.
Author Discusses Poems