This poem is a departure for me. I found myself channeling Hemingway after reading for the third or fourth time A Moveable Feast — perhaps the best and least known guidebook for Paris. My thanks to Scot at Rusty Truck for publishing it this week.
At 3 a.m.
after one more day
without words, Paris
takes you in like a whore,
not surprised you’re back
for another fuck in the dark.
November. Brittle rain
scrapes the bone.
You walk the sheen of cobbles
to the Seine, where bodies,
freshly guillotined, once floated,
heads left behind in baskets,
past the great cathedral, gargoyled,
buttressed, to the boîte
on St. Louis where absinthe
and jazz make love, and a girl
comes to rub against you
like she knows your name.
– Sarah Russell
first published in Rusty Truck
Photo by Nicolas Vigier
I stopped for groceries after work.
Jeff will be late again tonight.
“Don’t wait up,” he always says.
I hate these country roads at night –
twisting, full of ruts. I woke
this morning choking back a scream,
but the dream escaped
with the trembling.
I round a bend, see movement
in the willows. Slow, I tell myself.
It’s probably nothing.
– Sarah Russell
First published in Black Poppy Review
For Real Toads prompt “chaos theory“
Also for Poetry Pantry
One drunken night he lay on the coach road and she lay beside him.
“The Weight” is by my friend Ryan Stone who lives in Melbourne, Australia. More of his fine poetry can be found at Days of Stone.
One drunken night, he lay on the coach road
and she lay beside him. He pictured a truck
descending – wobbling around corners,
gaining momentum. They spoke about crushes,
first kisses. He told her of an older woman
who’d stolen a thing he couldn’t replace.
He tried to describe the weight of lost things.
She listened until he stopped,
until I stopped
hiding behind he. I felt small,
watching the cosmos churn
while I lay on the coach road
one summer night, speaking
of big things
First published in Algebra of Owls
Photo: “Fairie Lights on the Dark Road”
by Faustus Faunus
PS New prompts are up on the Prompts page.