Some Dreamily Smoke Cigarettes, Some Track

By Marianne Boruch

Some dreamily smoke cigarettes, some track
toddlers who walk like drunks. Buzzy,
the picnic grounds, noisy, sun-crazed, how
forks and spoons don’t exactly lie flat.

A mountain’s here, a famous overlook
from which you’d see none of this. Like that
first daguerreotype, its moving carriages
and those who strolled never picked up

in the long exposure, a Paris street emptied
by the camera, only houses and lamp posts
gone eternal. Or the one who stopped
for a shoe shine, the one who knelt to the task.

At the picnic—a commotion. A large man
to a younger man. I don’t know you! he’s hugging
and laughing. I don’t know who you are,
he shouts over and over a stillness so immense.

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