Paris, July 4

Author | Nooshin Ghanbari

for my father

on the way to bir-hakeim
accordion music
filters through cracks in
the métro like sunlight

after just two days
he has become the city
train lines and museum maps
newly written into
the wrinkles of his face
the whorls of his fingers

and god, he is so excited
his heart buzzes louder
than the music from the métro
and his footsteps hum
as we glide up the stairs
and out of the station

and there it is

carefully, and even though
it has been raining all day,
he lies on his back
beneath the eiffel tower
camera in hand

and even after he’s done
taking photos, memorizing
every bit of paris that he can

even after the sun sets
and place du trocadéro glitters
golden-brown with the light show

he remains there on the ground
his once-pink shirt grey with the debris
of a well-worn city

how wonderful it is, he says,
and I think he’s been crying

how wonderful it is
to be so small


About the Author | Nooshin Ghanbari is a senior English and Plan II Honors major at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was recently awarded the 2017 Regents’ Outstanding Student Award in Arts and Humanities for excellence in poetry. When she isn’t writing angsty poems, Nooshin can be found singing her heart out in countless choirs on- and off-campus and camping out at the many great coffee shops that Austin has to offer. Her work has previously been published in print and online in the United States, England, and Wales