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Where to Sit at a Reading Sit down front And imagine That the words inhabit Your mind. You can stand On the Rue St. Dennis Your hotel squatting at your back, Massive at the base But thinner as the walls rise, And look to your right Down the granite cobbles To see the Eiffel Tower Over your right shoulder. It is night, And the traffic Stands still, The headlights Illuminating the exhaust And the cigarette smoke That trails from a hand Swinging down in frustration To tap the grey door. The tower glows green Above the red tile roofs And white plaster walls Of the hotel and shops, And the geraniums Popping red and blue From window boxes At waist height. Napoleon is buried Three blocks to your left, And dinner on the terrace Waits two blocks straight ahead. If you take the back seat, You miss crepes St. Jacques, And you will never learn The sound of your shoes On the same stones Where Victor Hugo walked, Or see the spires Of Notre Dame Illuminated white Against the black Of an evening shower, Or shop like a Parisian In an open stall.
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