I Will Die in Paris
by Tresha Haefner
Tresha Haefner

Tresha Faye Haefner lives in San Jose, California, where she teaches English and Social Studies, frequents Barefoot Coffee, and shares a studio apt. with her cats, Nimue and Nietzsche. Her work appears in BloodLotus and Zygote in My Coffee.

(After Caesar Vallejo)

I will die in Paris.
Early morning. October.
In an apartment three stories above street level.

Three stories below
a woman with red nail polish will catch
a view of the Seine as she switches lanes.

Green ripples will disturb the water.
Black river bells
of Notre Dame will sing
and a tourist will stand on a bridge.

In my brick room, the door will be closed,
I will pick up a yellow coffee mug,
then set it down next to the piano.

This is October. Paris.
Past my window a leaf will fall.
Slow and yellow.

It will remind me of a girl I knew
and I will die.

# # #

When they find me,
fallen next to the piano bench,
the firemen who have been called in
will note how becoming I look.

Peaceful. At home.

One can't stop recalling my face
as he makes love to his wife.

The other sits alone
at his kitchen counter, thinking.

When my sister gets the call
she will fly from California.

A stranger in the country, she will carry
one rose, a pair of gloves. Insists
they scatter my ashes over a chestnut tree.

New in town, everyone will want
to take her to dinner, and the museums,
the Seine, and Notre Dame,
show her this city
where even the dead know how to be full.

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