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Europa/Nippon/New York: Poems/Not-Poems


NOCTURNE FOR EDITH PIAF

The accordionist, the gigolo,
The pugilist surely knew:

It all came down to the lights –

The footlights that fawned over
over your delicious agony.

The lust lights of Place Pigalle.
The chaste lights of Sacré-Coeur.

Mais non

It came down to the heart.
How it fractures like a thrown vase,

Like a lover’s airplane
for which the sky has no further use.

How, in breaking, it is more of a heart,
more than a heart.

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien

We smoked a Gauloise in your honor.
We danced the Apache in your name.

How we envy you, Mlle Gassion.
You had no regrets. But we do.