To ascend the spiral stair from Philippe Auguste station,
to go to Père Lachaise at the end of your vacation.
To crisscross cobblestone causeways in the crepuscular Parisian air,
through forests of consecrated, moss-covered crenellations,
which riddle the peripheral of winding pebble paths,
beneath the rain-bruised clouds enshrouding all that pass.
And to wonder if you’ll find one single marker
before the twilight falls and all grows darker.
To stumble on Avenue Carette—at last—worry subsides—
an endeavor you won’t regret after all.
Ahead, the barrier glass, the wingèd eunuch,
the limestone tomb—dead flowers ring the monument en masse.
And to realize what a peculiar task
To cross an ocean to pay respects
to a man you never knew,
from a time in which you never lived,
for pangs you've never suffered.
To bestow in such perfunctory fashion
splendour that impassioned such a number
who strove their lives entire to lie
in such a station—
Ensconced by lip-smeared safety glass,
besmirched by love in which you’ll never bask,
lauded by those in life you’ll never pass—
What more can the triumphant ask?