Our last night on the Boulevard Montmartre, you discovered,
among dusty rows of cracked pitchers and wrinkled antique
lace, the perfect sapphire ring, insisting that I have it as a reminder
of the way you thought of me. Exhausted from our walking
tour, we retraced our steps past well-known sites and statues,
arriving safely at our tiny room. I put on our new tape, looked
up the meaning of Je Me Souviens De Rien and Sans Toi, packed up
all our guidebooks, the Eiffel Towers, the French perfume.
You said how difficult it was to leave, wondered whether
we’d return. Finally, you fell asleep. I finished what was left
of the Coke Lite, laid out the next day’s clothes and shoes,
turned off the tape. Then I slept too, continuing backwards
on my own, sightseeing past old lovers, lingering
at the last attraction, finding nothing I could leave behind.
*When the night returns, I remember too well
Sally Lipton Derringer was a manuscript finalist for the Tampa Review Prize, New Issues Prize, Poets Out Loud Prize, and a semifinalist for the Brittingham Prize. Her work has appeared in Poet Lore, Los Angeles Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Solstice, Nimrod, December, Journal of the American Medical Association, and others.