And Paris, France, is still Paris, France, though we've never been there together but might if life were a little longer and no one ever invented knives. I am crossing the bridge again and the city is behind me being rescued or being destroyed with a leaf on the end of a branch turning maple-syrup brown. The first one. The summer's over, Jack Spicer, and I have turned my collar up against the wind and health insurance, the clouds and blue jays, against the gangbangers and insufficient funds. It's getting colder. We're turning from wheat beers to Stouts, becoming our fathers again, our exhausted uncles, bruising our knuckles against the tavern walls and young mothers, we're showing up for work, we're blessing the promise of ice and snow and football to come like the Israelites did with the sand, the gold, and the insects. It's raining, Jack Spicer, and I miss Matthew Lippman. He's walking through an alley in Boston, his beautiful hands and shoulders, his wife and daughter at home. His heart beating up his body like a heavyweight, the nose broken, the ribs broken— I'm not ready! Kiss me, take your legs and make a belt of stars around me, be my winter coat, my sobriety and bodega. The oceans are getting blue and the oysters are getting ready. Soon we can cover the table with newspapers, with the faces of senators and crossword puzzles, the oysters spread out over the sports page, we can open the hard shells and slip the cold soft bodies into our mouths. We can drink white wine and make a kind of Pacific out of lunch. I want to lie around the room with your jeans flung over a chair. I want to eat ice cream and have my older brother back. The summer's over, Jack, and all the waitresses are putting on their black tights like a funeral of knees, the bartenders are wiping down the brass, the waiters are drawing out their lines of cocaine like long strings of silk, pure white and perfect. I have crossed the bridge into a Paris that doesn't exist. Really, I'm in Portland, the summer's over and the last of the breweries are being pulled into the sky, becoming lofts, getting roof-top gardens for surgeons and all their beautiful brides.
From Matthew Dickman’s “Mayakovsky’s Revolver”