Crimes Along the Côte d’Azur

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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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