Do I look different to you, now that I have been to Paris?
Does my tongue taste like a languinous Louvre
disintegrating madly into the poetic mouth ?
I ask you this because
you have been all through my little folk art gallery.
The snare drum of my stomach –
struck by calfskin into crescendoed Sousa march.
The stiff portraits of my ancestors’ still-beating apartheid hearts.
Even the lonely trifecta –
writing desk, leathery notebook, and wax seal (lest anything of worth ever come out of it)
I ask you this as a peaking journeyman,
remembering the girl making love for the first time.
Searching stoically in the mirror for what she’d gained,
and finding the necessary loss.
I ask you this now because I have just been to Paris,
and no matter how much I pleaded –
it simply would not come back with me.
Jean Sotos is a proud native of Chicago. She has had previous poetry acceptances in After Hours Press and Dark Matter Journal.