Barbara Crooker
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Climbing the Eiffel Tower at Night,

 

flood-lit, so the traceries of girder and beam
seem insubstantial, a conjurer's vision,
an airy web spun out of light. It's a pyramid of X's,
row on row of kisses curving up to the sky,
meeting at the vanishing point, where all things come
together.

Premier étage:
We climb into this ladder of light.
Below, the sycamore trees have stripped
down to bar and girder, a complicated fretwork
of branches, dropped their leaves
in a heap of gold on the ground.
The sinuous loops of the Seine
wind around their feet,
wrap the city in a silver ribbon.

Deuxième étage:
Dizzy with height, for a moment things reverse,
and it's the night sky spread below us,
darkness pooled at our feet, pierced with
different constellations, a new mythology.

Troisième étage:
This high up, the air is cold, clouds go racing by.
One minute the lights wink out, the next, they're back again,
the clouds whipping around our heads like a dancer's gauzy veil.
We kiss, wrapped in scarves of mist, the lights go out again.

At the top of this thin edifice, a single needle,
like the sweet momentary joining of flesh.
 

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Barbara Crooker has published in magazines such as Yankee, The Christian Science Monitor, Smartish Pace, and The Denver Quarterly, anthologies, including Worlds in their Words: An Anthology of Contemporary American Women Writers, and eleven chapbooks. She has won the 2005 Word Press First Book award for her first full-length book, Radiance, which was also a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize. This group of poems is from Line Dance, newly released from Word Press.
Email: bcrooker@ix.netcom.com
Website: www.barbaracrooker.com
 

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previously published in Karamu, winner of 1997 Karamu poetry prize  

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