“Bequest: Coat to the Pompidou” by Jim Barnes

Jim Barnes

BEQUEST: COAT TO THE POMPIDOU

Having a lumped head but right mind,
I bequeath my coat to the Pompidou,
to hang flapping in the hot wind
rising from all the farts there to
view beadling André Breton. They’ll find
it slick as owl shit, black as flues
in the Marais. I wore it, and I dined
in it, and I wiped my nose on it twice
in the Ritz the day I declined
the wine the crazy waiter tossed
the maître d’. Let it hang tough above
the rez-de-chaussée and the dead lice
fall on whomever they may. Love
my coat or love it not. Many a times
it kept licks off my tanned hide, proof
enough it ought to be enshrined
with the other worthless crap that we find
in the front plumbing and behind.
Item: the pockets will be bare
as a rat’s ass, no francs, not one red sou,
not one token of payment there.

from Rattle #7, Summer 1997