When I Walk the Streets of Paris (for Annie)

When I walk the streets of Paris

you won’t be beside me,

but you will be there.

And I will converse with you in

a terrible French accent to make

you laugh

A yellow rose,

the kind you loved best,

I will leave at the top of

the Eiffel Tower

Another, tossed into the Seine

to float downriver like a wish

now come true,

A bright and beautiful bloom

in the crepuscular evening

I will take pictures where your memory

will fill the empty spaces.

Your smile unseen, but felt.

In the bistro, I will flirt

with the waitress and ask her

if ‘oo-la-la’ is really a thing,

(and ask her to say it, even if it’s not)

I will visit the Louvre

and admire the

incomprehensible paintings

with indecipherable meanings

In the outdoor café

I will order two cups

of coffee, and

leave yours untouched.

And on the last night,

standing on the balcony,

listening to the melancholy melody

of an accordion

below in the courtyard,

I will toast us with a glass of red wine,

Celebrating the fact that we finally got here

And now,

we’ll always have Paris.