In the Pastel City

by Bill Yarrow

I had never been to the pastel city before
but there I was, walking down the Prospekt,
descending the Gustave Doré underground,
stopping on bridges to snap pictures, eating
Azerbaijan beef, attending a ballet, a circus,
watching the thin prostitutes in stiletto heels,
encountering artists on walls and authors on signs,
talking to you over pasta and wine, over and over,
to see soberly whom you had become. Then I had
that dream: your dead parents coming to me,
greeting me, embracing me, pleased, laughing,
their faces alive with smiles, and I felt, somehow,
enfolded, ennobled, and emboldened with happiness
and when I wak'd, I cried to dream again.