A Long Bus Ride


i wait at a bus stop

ready for paris night

wind lightly blows, dormant

trash lining streets into an air

by now used to its presence

african man sits beside

me speaking in a guttural

tribal French – to himself,


i am not afraid, weary


bus arrives *


we pass through the city

young couple holds hands –

red lipstick on the girl, smiling

cars with no respect for pedestrians

african man exists still with rough

french sunlight frames clouds with

halos – made wispy by a cool wind

woman waiting at bus stop with worry

written on her face smokes

a cigarette


we pass a pizza hut*


my stomach churns I think

of food and champs elysees


grey dress’d woman exposed

by perverted paris wind

this city doesn’t apologize for its indecency

[This aspect escapes tourist guides]


sullen faces of paris swept

under gold-trimmed rug


bus nears champs elysees*


l’arc de triomphe grows on

horizon, welcoming

entrance to a world entirely

different from what I left


here are beautiful women, expensive shops


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