A Way of Life

The vintner says, "There is no prohibition against putting off
a tourist needlessly."

As a tourist aches, as a tourist experiences the entailment
of Europe without the words and only a wallet to express,
feeling adult but stored within the body of an infant,

you may bathe now
on the stairs
of voices.

And so when the concierge says that a tourist is one
who does not speak, who does not dream, and who is not born
presupposing our language, we cannot say there has been a violation
if the tourist among us catches the historical entailment.
The concierge does not touch his arm, however,
to remind him of the predatory numbness setting in
and what will follow:feeling foreign from morning to noon.

Even a vintner catches the entailment of Europe.
You may bathe now on the stairs of voices,
but the concierge will balk at linking arms with you.

Marjorie Welish

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