The Dust (Paris 08) — James Barrett

Humidity coats the streets crowded Friday chaperone
Cars, the oily blocks of yesterday, crease the scene
Out of the bars hang young adventurers afraid
To move too far from the sidewalks of hometown
While eyes fill windows electric and sliding
Laughter the spruce ghosts shadows fork tourists
All bend beneath the neon of Clichy-Pigalle
A season of intoxication and beauty wrapped
In crumbling facades of smoke and broken tile.

The aged blonde in tight pants drags her poodle
From the supermarket breast implants strain
Against the leash as smiling make-up melts
Among the wrinkles and folds out the door
Another ancient whore falls along a crossing
Roses tattooed over both legs beneath
Tight leather skirt and sagging hips
They both must have stood in crowds
Of flowers once been cherished companions
Now faded to the background of the stage
With stories, gleaming eyes, the marks of past.

Lovers waiting to meet their final seducer
That is present at every party but never
Invited the guest at every table but takes
No drink with his compatriots he is death
Again champagne around the gathered company
Toast the studio of youth the fragrant trembling
Of young toes curled around the gutter’s cusp
Excitement in the balance between sweet society
And the effluent flushed away with morning.

James Barrett is a poet, writer, journalist, musician and independent researcher who is concerned with transcending the sensible with the written word, the sustained drone and the ritual image. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He is at @JimBarrett and