He waits in line
at the airport to speak to a woman
he will not understand; there is no way
to know what she understands. The
children of a South-American couple
with matching briefcases, thick visas
watch a cartoon, craning their necks.
Daffy Duck interprets Robin Hood,
dubbed in French. Kelly doesn't expect
anyone to find his shirts.
The Eiffel Tower at a distance
reminds him of oil, Texas, more
sun than rain, home. In a café
Kelly offends old men
with his muttered, incomprehensible
attempt at French, men
who believe they know
when they are being mocked. Someone says,
Américain, with a lot of saliva.
At the hotel he sprawls,
finds there is no American TV.
Kelly is in a Paris airport
and his bags are in Amster-
dam, and his shirt soaked
nearly through because it was god-
damn hot on the plane.
Hard to figure. Kelly thought
it should be colder higher
up. His bags are lost
in a baggage cart: his week of clean shirts.
Francs are the third
currency in five days and Kelly
can't tell if he's being cheated.
He assumes he is and
he is. No one here knows
him; what MLB stands for,
that a blue jay is even a bird.
Their attention undivided, but who
can say what the kids understand?
Robin Hood grasps the rope, shouts something
in French and leaps, swings
into a tree, yells, swings
into a tree. He batters himself
silly. Over time, his shout, the call to
action breaks down, becomes sub-lingual
A grunt, eerily similar
to Kelly's own French.
He stops watching.
Kelly abandons a line
in an airport, thinks: I give up,
Shit. And away
he goes an ocean, airports,
home. His bags arrive in Paris two
days after Kelly has left; they
are never sent to meet him.