POETRY: Philip Rafferty – FANTOMAS

Fantomas

The baby is crying.
We are all alone.
She is Fantomas
And we don’t
Know what to do.

Last time I was here
They didn’t give me
A paper cap.
But the guard offers us three
And I put them on us.
I feel Napoleonic.

Fantomas is inconsolable.
She wants to face out.
So I carry her
Past the guns and armor.
The Grand Palais was closed again
And so we are here amongst the arms.

You are interested
In how a world war starts.
I never knew you to care before.
History is hard, you say to her.
But what you don’t say is
Because the future is not just ours.

How can cities be taken?
You search with a mother’s concern,
Work to build a cursory understanding of
What to fear in the coming years?
You look for signs as I pace
Rocking the baby to sleep.

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