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Thursday, December 09, 2010


by W.F. Lantry

The parking structure buzzed. Six stories up,
we circled, and we found an empty space
at last. The snow was coming in.
We slipped, and held each other up. Our coats
let in some wind, until we reached the stairs.
Snowflakes were dusting frozen metal treads.

As we came out, a man was leaning back
against the wall, half settled. On the ground
a nearly empty turned up hat. He shook
the snow flakes off as we went by. The lights
of cars danced by in continuity
and we walked to the restaurant row, where warmth

spurred on our conversation. Chilled with ice
our mixed whiskey and cosmopolitans
where just enough to make the scene outside
seem picturesque: snowdrifts against the trees.
We walked around a little, then turned back
towards the car. He was still there. The wall

gave little shelter. We went by. The snow
had found its way inside: we brushed it off,
backed out, and drove in line around the ramps.
I stopped before the exit, and stepped out.
I gave him what I had. It wasn't much.
The snowflakes settled on his upturned hat.

W.F. Lantry received his Licence and Maîtrise from the Université de Nice, M.A. in English from Boston University, and Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. In 2010, he won the Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (in Israel), the Crucible Editors’ Poetry Prize and the CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry. His work has appeared in Kestrel, Prairie Fire, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, carte blanche and Now Culture. He currently works in Washington, DC and is a contributing editor of Umbrella: A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose.