The Tower, Her Insistence
When I was stepping inside the skeleton spine
of the Eiffel Tower, I was avoiding touching
the sturdy metal railings, avoiding inhaling
the musk of the man ahead of me, avoiding
looking down as my thrumming legs lifted
me closer to the sky.
I felt in a cage. Completely embraced by
a structure that could never know me
or anyone who tore up its insides
day after day. But when I reached the top,
the highest point I was allowed to go,
me or anyone, and I looked beyond her bones
That’s when she slipped under my lungs,
held my breath said c’est la vie.
I wept at her tone. Her insistence of the
words, not fleeting or shoulder shrugged
not greeting card or slogan, but
strict commanding, each word
its own door: c’est la vie.
I weep now at the shadow of her
tender pull that remains like an
X-ray black dot on my left lung,
malignant with hope and purpose,
a flag of remembrance waving
at my heart.