Bookstores

First, the dark stair-well
at City Lights, pages paled
as I stumbled down.

Let that stand for all
the others, led by Sheafe Street’s
svelt Petunia:

Berkeley’s mod Cody’s,
Moe’s (above his cigar eyes
doom my thin pickings);

then Princeton, Cambridge,
New York (Scribner’s radiant
spaces for Baudelaire);

and Trastevere
(Heaney’s “Open Ground” in cloth).
We planned to die there,

me clutching Heaney
and you as ancient Romans,
alas death came first.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Portland OR and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at tom.develyn@comcast.net. D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

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