“Brussels Pantoum” by Heather Schultz


Rome, Florence, Vienna...
Our minds molded by art, music, panoramic sunsets.
Past midnight, a lone sign now greets us: Brussels.
Off the train, bleary-eyed, ten hours since Berlin.

Our minds molded by art, music, panoramic sunsets,
We've already forgotten which city we're in.
Off the train, bleary-eyed, ten hours since Berlin.
Why did we come here?

We've already forgotten which city we're in.
We came for architecture, maybe some of that famous lace.
But why did we come here?
Oh yes, for waffles and savory, Belgian truffles.

We came for architecture, maybe some of that famous lace.
Instead, two prostitutes warn us to get off the streets; why did we come here?
Oh yes, for waffles and savory, Belgian truffles.
A prostitute gives directions, hurrying us to our hostel.

Two prostitutes warned us to get off the streets; why did we come here?
Just make it through the night,
Hurry to our hostel,
Ignore the homeless man's box-step.

We made it through the night!
Now find the tourist attractions,
Ignore another homeless man's box-step.
Why did we come here?

Finally, the tourist attractions;
A plaza with flowers, the one statue of a peeing boy, a waffle house.
Why did we come here?
Now touring a laundromat, we eagerly await Paris the next day... and wonder...

Why did we ever come here?