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Rain

Pale marrow seeps to bone, the lattice
of rib and spindled spine arcing
out then over the small red rooms
of the dark child’s tiny heart-

Before twilight his young mother
his five sisters his numberless
uncles – faces change but the plan
remains forever the same –

emerge from the shadowless mouth
of the Metro and take their place
on wet walkways that glimmer
with rain and lovely small storefronts

kept open and bright for busy
soft-eyed women in sudden need
of cheeses for desert, winter blooms
or cashmere to twist in swan-folds

against the endlessly long months
of lavender-grey Paris cold.
At night, after solitary
and quiet walks among the lanes

of the 4th, curved and colorful,
a Matisse odalisque, and then
the narrow paths of the island,
the ancient steady heart within

the ancient city’s wending shell.
The child: in roughened hand a cup,
a red blanket spread over stone;
the buttresses, as delicate

as tree branches in the night sky,
over his head stretch out and up
the high vined walls of the Eglise
de Saint Germain de Pres. He thinks

before his eyes give in to sleep:
I am a statue, in the rain.
Pas Gitan.. un garcon francais.
Mes os, les memes os de cette ville

saintgermain

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