And there stands
right on front of me
at the exits of metros
still moving behind me,
where men,
always black men,
always banlieue,
who I recognise
from the streets
yesterday begging for bread,
now search
for bombs in bags
so Parisians feel more protected.
Really Paris,
is this your position
or are you just trying
to reduce the homeless
by placing then closer
to possible blasts
and kill two birds
with the one bomb?
Unarmed, untrained
and unexplained
boys looking for
booby traps
that would only
make them collapse
if they found one.
These gullible gangstas
are no MacGyvers.
Appearances, it seems,
in Paris are still everything
while the streets
stink with rubbish
hiding the homeless
from the tourists,
the jobless, non-nationals,
uninsurable non-entities,
at least the ones
you haven’t yet picked
to reassure commuters
that dangers are being derailed
before style trends board trains.


All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

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