If one sits on the steps of Sacré Coeur
to see the city after dusk,
one sees, too, in the cold, each traveler:
the silk-scarved men, distinct with musk;
the ladies in flared miniskirts and tights,
most often black or midnight blue,
occasionally punctuated — brights,
or puce, or some unlikely hue.
One sees the leathered packs with cigarettes
on precipices blowing smoke.
One listens to musicians finger frets
for famous songs, of rock or folk,
And smells some bitter andouille on the wind,
grim and scraggly grass in cracks,
the perspiration of the olive-skinned,
or warmly melted votive wax.
Green macaron in hand, its mellow paste
the flavor of pistachio –
like olive skin one cannot touch nor taste –
in vain, one fights with vertigo.
The tourists photographing from a tier
below, curved girlfriends striking poses,
roaming vendors proffer bottled beer
and blood-red, long-stemmed roses.
As twilight deepens, one will then observe
deposit, these distracted brash,
the emerald-drained merchandise they serve
in bags hung on the fence for trash.
Perhaps unnoticed, wholly by surprise,
a bottle will miss the bag, and break,
its broken shards outspread like distant eyes
which cause some hazel heart to ache.
Upturned and staring from the chilly stone,
the pieces render one aware
although surrounded, one is yet alone,
by means of their green, absent glare.
Attempting to escape from such a glower,
one stands, walks to the west, the sight,
the tall seduction of the Eiffel Tower,
alluring and aligned with light.
And from those heights, perhaps one then will wonder
in silence, what it would be like
to fall beyond the fence, and tumble under
this platform — plentiful — to strike
some unidentified allée, to splatter
the ground of Sacré Coeur beneath,
and if the dizzy mind would even matter
to brittle bones, or grinding teeth.