Summer 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2009 |

These Magic Moments

We were sitting on the terrace of a small hotel On a side street in a town we'd never visited before. I wrote this down: They drive around the square In cars they purchase out of petty cash And eat french-fried potatoes Wrapped up in little hats Later, we were sitting at a table on a glassed-in boat As it floated down the Rhine. We ate dinner And watched the steep vineyards glide by on the right, And then we were in the Alps, surrounded by picturesque chalets With window boxes filled with geraniums. —This was a long time ago, in the Europe In the mind, the Europe experienced for the first time, Where you could ride from A to Β without a second thought, For nearly nothing. There are cheap flights now, But it's not the same. I'm not the same, Yet this is all I have to show for what I was—I'm riding on a train, leafing through a guidebook And looking out the window at some moments of my life Rolling by to the melody of an old Drifters song, And they seem lik

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John Koethe’s The Swimmer, has just been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His previous books include North Point North: New and Selected (2002), Ninety-Fifth Street (2009), which received the Lenore Marshall Award, and ROTC Kills (2012).

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