Barbara Crooker


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

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.


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.


previously published in Karamu, winner of 1997 Karamu poetry prize  


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