I know Paris.
It's black and white,
fits on a small screen.
There's a little jazz club there,
where Paul Newman
and Sidney Poitier play,
but they’re no actors.
They're struggling jazz musicians.
Sidney is pragmatic. Paul,
a dreamer, is lost somewhere
between the smoky cavern
of restless blues and the lure
of responsibility, personified
by his cassoulet-cooking mistress.
Once Louis Armstrong played
at the club. He wasn't Louis
Armstrong though, but Wild Man Moore.
Even so, the small screen knows
he's a jazz king, and so will you
when you see him arrive
victorious at the Gard du Nord,
carried off by the jubilant crowd.
Anytime now Joanne Woodward
and Dianne Carroll will enter
this mise-en-scène, only to complicate
Paul's and Sidney's carefree lives
by being women.
Relationships will bud, love
will bloom and meander along
the moonlit Seine. There will be
passionate rain-slicked kisses.,
promises will be made and broken,
Madame Cassoulet will not be pleased.
I watch Paris unfold like a flower,
but I am passive as a pint of sky
poured into the living-room chair.
Unmoved, I understand
Sidney's reluctance to return
to the States, and approve
Paul's choice to stay with Joanne.
This is my Paris.
I’m not leaving, I'm staying,
sitting at a table toward the back
of that club, listening
to the soundtrack play.
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