Old Quebec

We occupy the time it takes
to discover how to live a life:

confinement, searches, empty boxes,
trails, fresh fruit, the gift you riff on,

and on while something closes
way too soon, the deck tilts, missing cards.

Then coming up for air in an ancient city,
cobblestones shining in light rain refreshes
the palate.

The boombox in the sunglasses store
drove us on to the bistros & bars.

On the plastered windows a language spoke
of what I could only imagine: Rimbaud muttering
to himself.

Past tense continues to slog in the shadows
while about to arrive holds off the message.

I wait for you to grasp the gist of experience
to pull the rabbit from the hat & save us.

Everywhere we are all tourists and have aged
the land with collateral damage.

We march, sing, cry into the wilderness
carrying our sorrow before us, trashing
the remaining Caesars.

Yet quiche Lorraine in a deli on Avenue Cartier
as the rain ceases
soothes the spirit, lets much fall away if only
for a sliver of time.

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