Sarah Carey: “Paris Voices”


Here, a murmur. There, a keen.
The current crosses continents

as we rise from our beds
morning-weak, sleep-deprived

discuss our day, will words
to pull us into prayer, or anyone

to drag us from our avenue
through office doors, to lock us in

protect, to shush. Pardon us.
Peace be with them.

A couple that dodged bullets outside of a café
braves a sea of tea lights held at a vigil

to touch, knee-deep in strewn bouquets.
A rose yawns into a broken window

as I wrap my neck in the gauzy scarf
bought near the Louvre long ago

when shopping overrode museums
until night fell and the city closed

all around us. We came home artless
but for posters and barrettes, but this, this

is a different darkness, Yeatsian,
we turn, are turned upon, consider a bus

ubiquitous, the two of us, a world
apart, anarchy. And go on.

The man and the woman separate.
Bells chime for the dead

the coming in, the going out.
We embrace, as if for the first time.

Sarah Carey’s work has appeared in Rattle, Carolina Quarterly, Portland Review, Superstition Review and elsewhere. Her first chapbook of poems, The Heart Contracts, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. She works as a veterinary public relations specialist for the University of Florida and lives in Gainesville.

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