Someone is conking the Tuileries Putti,
Some malcontent whispering, “Off with their heads!,”
A miscreant murmuring Così fan Tutte
To stubby-necked angels undone in their beds.

A contrail is climbing the Saturday azure.
The gods seem distracted, confused where they lie.
The Graces’ ablutions are lacking in lather,
Their infant admirers unable to sigh.

Old guillotines rust in a morbid museum.
Les Invalides’ Dôme doesn’t open ’til noon.
But, oh, what a horror this morning to see them,
The dirty white torsos. The plastery moon.

—Rick Mullin

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 33 Number 9, on page 34
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