- Paris Rain
for the roofers
You can hear them sing on the scaffolddragging their metal ladders across,you can hear the rough steel banglike fine brassjust below your windowswhere they wait for the rain to endand the heavy bell of the little churchhangs from its cast iron crown.
Nobody wants to be really aloneeating a lunch of stone breadand salami, unless it's the foremanparked down the blockhiding beneath his woolen hatcocked low over the midday calm
and nobody wants to wake in the darkamong leafy gargoyles and mansard roofs,misremembering how they arrived,their work forgotten, their tools and boots,their gravity left behind in the airlike a bee who can't find the hive.
You listen to the sound of the Paris rainthe bells of the churchand the ladder's clangyour jet-lag dreams of Xanax and wine,of escape from the narrow fields of time,of no one to ask and no one to blameone and the samein the hands of the rain. [End Page 7]
JOSEPH MILLAR is the author of three poetry collections with a fourth, Kingdom, due out in 2017. His poetry has won fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches in Pacific University's low-residency MFA program and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.