I want the world to stay big and strange.
I want to make a map of all the rooftops in Paris.
Translate the secret language of the residue on your cheek
when you meet an old friend and exchange kisses, platonic ones,
but full of love.
I want to bring back the feeling of seeing Notre Dame at night.
Making a playlist of songs that move me,
in a way only great art can, or a beautiful woman.
Trying to avoid cliches, like the one above.
I mispronounce every word in French. Wee.
I want to learn how to communicate.
Not just here, everywhere. Not just with my mouth.
I want the world to bend and wobble under its weight.
I want this glorious vertigo to never stabilize.
Keep me spinning like the stars. Keep me honest.
Let the beauty arrest me, embarrassingly so…
Like seeing her naked for the first time,
unable to truly see it, unable to speak.
Like that feeling when she leaves,
unable to breathe.
Listening to my Playlist with headphones on, on the train.
I’m distant from myself.
Heading to the airport, trying to absorb it one last time,
the feeling of the here and now, as I speed through both.
But my thoughts already drift toward tomorrow.
When I arrive home. All of this behind me,
just a photo on my Instagram feed.
Dirty old, plain America.
I’m always coming or going,
I’m a dissipating cloud in the breeze.
Taking shape, then losing it. Making a playlist.
Stamping my passport.
Checking in, checking out.
I’m always wanting, acquiring, losing.
Paris at night is a magical thing, like all inspirations,
it demands more than words.
I think back on it now, looking for words, for inspiration, for a feeling.
I think back on how the lights looked unreal, like something I dreamed.
I think back on it… and find myself lost, reaching, dissipating.
I want to walk her streets again, touch her.
I want to lose myself in her lights.
Not just memories, not just ideals.
But a sweet voice I recognize as my own,
and also not mine, reminds me:
at least I have those.