Betsy Mars was born in Connecticut, but has lived most of her life in Southern California. She is a poet, educator, and mother who loves to experience the world through travel and through interactions with others, including those in other animal species. Her work has appeared in the California Quarterly, The New Verse News, The Ekphrastic Review, and on Silver Birch, among others.
What I have seen in Paris:
exposed beams, crumbling concrete,
bony streets knobbed with good intentions.
So many beginnings, imagined middles,
to unimagined ends.
Pathways meander to more pathways –
shops and shops of shabby memorabilia,
cheaply celebrating history –
L’Histoire, La Gloire –
rolled like flaked chocolate
around the meringue ball of the city:
its shell after shell of deliciousness
and bitterness, of cakes and prison breaks,
deportation and occupation. Absinthe-
drenched and sun-bleached, speckled
picnickers on pointillist blankets
eating foie gras and playing paté cake
they flirt and give way to gendarmes
and Fauvism. The raw heart of the city given up
to the eagle-eyed and sad
among us. We devour it, arteries
and all, hoping to feel the blood-
cheap cognac, hot in our veins.