third of december

by dm gillis

must I be in Paris to write a poem?
instead of this apartment near the park
tight in a confining skin
of holly, red berries and fir

because I didn’t get to Paris this year
and again have failed
as a poet in far more than this

my rhythm always wrong and my
symbols hiding like shills
down alleys off the high street
scraping the eves of their fingernails
with jack knives sucking
on toothpicks from a another century

perhaps I’ll never get to Paris
a poet in desolate wish
hidden to the invisible
ambiguity ever idle in my pockets

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