Crimes Along the Côte d’Azur


Many thanks to Route 7 Review for publishing the following poem in their May 2016 issue.

Crimes Along the Côte d’Azur

                                                                                —Spring 1980

My trespass takes me to the harbor

 big-rock jetty, cool-blue bay

  Monaco behind me, shiny gold

   casino coin glittering in sunlight


Yachts roll in, wealthy drunks aboard

 chopped duck liver, sparkling wine and cheese

  I’m chewing cheese myself—Smiling Cow

   stolen from a store this afternoon


Same as stolen glances, half-nude tourists

 olive-oiled breasts topless in the sun

  me a thief like those Arabs yesterday

   snapping secret photos in Antibes


The train to Nice, a woman sleeps

 we alone in our cramped compartment

  bar of English chocolate in her bag

   gone before she bats an eye:  Merci


I slip away from the hillside hostel

 sleepy village porches early dawn

  on one, a basket—cold milk, fresh baguette

   I snatch it like a furtive photograph


Down by the one-clock railway stop

 I peel the paper lid, lift the chilly top

  five dumb pigeons watch me break my bread

    they peck at one another over thread



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