Treasure Island

Terry Collett


Paris 1973 (poem)


That year
in Paris

you took
Dostoyevsky's novel

Crime and Punishment
to read when

you weren't touring
the sites

and you became
so immersed in the book

that you became
Raskolnikov

and killed
the old woman

and her half sister
and looked about the streets

you looked for the detective
Porfiry whom you suspected

was following you about
and as you sat

in the Champs-Elysées
or stood by

the Arc de Triomphe
you thought of all

the famous
who had stayed here

in this fine city
Henry Miller

Ezra Pound
Hemmingway

Debussy
Van Gogh

and that fanatical
conqueror Hitler

with his sick smile
under that

silly moustache
and that evening

your brother
in the hotel room

puked in the bidet
after sour wine

or too rich food
as you looked out

the window on
the Parisian street

to see if Porfiry
was out there

waiting for you
to charge you

with the murderous crime
you didn't do.

Submitted: Wednesday, June 06, 2012

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