Americans in Paris

I’m beginning to think it’s not the French

donning funeral black, but the tourists,

temporary Hemingways. We’re the ones

sulking on park benches outside Notre Dame,

clutching notebooks, ink pens, watercolor

visions of the Seine at dusk. Paris blushes

crepe as lovers’ tongues waltz to a violin

Sinatra on Pont de Sully. We feverishly write

down the image. Finally, good material. Spectators,

we observe the city of love with no one to hold us

back at the hostel. And so we sip red wine bought

from a peddler, drunk on the idea that we must suffer

for divine inspiration. Years from now, failed novels later,

we will swear to God the gargoyles were laughing at us.

ANISSA LYNNE JOHNSON is a writer and motivational speaker from Gladstone, MI. She is currently an MA candidate at Northern Michigan University. Her work often centers on grief and healing, hope and faith, and the little moments that pave the large world we live in. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tiny Seed Journal and Haunted Waters Press. When she isn’t traveling the world or writing, she can be found at home with her husband and eleven plant children.