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Advantages of Smoking at Night

The sodden Montreal night is stolen and foreign.
It's June and a ceramic lion figurine lazes

in the limestone window across the street. I smoke
expensive, imported Marlboros bought with MasterCard.

The lion rolls out against the shade,
his silhouetted length pulled thin as I am

after long days of travel. I exhaust each precious cigarette
to nub, American writer displaced and vaguely European

on the first night before classes. My gray exhale evaporates
into purple sky. Wrought iron lampposts pose,

luxurious, in the rain; they will be even wetter in memory.
A late bus slides to the curb. It pulses, silently: Côte-des-Neiges.

All the seats are empty
and every window has been thrown wide open.  

Jennifer Poteet lives in Glen Ridge, NJ and works in Manhattan as a fundraiser for public television. Her poems have been published in various journals, including 2 RiverView, The Adirondack Review, Tryst, Poetry Niederngasse, Absinthe Literary Review, and The Red River Review. She is a Pushcart prize nominee. Other interests include a passion for Mexican folk art  as well as collecting modernist sterling silver jewelry.

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