b.z. niditch | on bastille day


The July 14’nth moon
agrees with me
that an affair is routine
on Bastille Day
taken in
by the vast expanse
of a light show
when unrelenting
fireworks blind us
as falling stars
extinguish a pastel sky
and a runaway musician
from the provinces
carries his magic flute
in a bag of napoleans
to be devoured later,
he trembles in the wind
besieged by darkness
groping by nervous crowds
many feet deep
aimless as adolescence,
the boy squeezes
his tuned up fingers
to play an anthem
of hunting heraldry
his late father
taught him,
rouses his newly
muscled arm
in a Chaplinesque salute
to sailors filed past him
in this revolutionary
metropolitan scene
of public execution
and private betrayal.

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