Over there, American Gothic couples follow queues & glare
into the massive erection. Something uniquely Gallic seems
written for them on the girdersa godless sign, a billet-doux
on a huge, porno postcard. One man, perhaps an Iowan,

mutters to his wife, Weren’t all these foreigners here when
we was in the Navy. The French as well are weary of Eiffel’s
aliens. Only the tall, hawking, North African blacks, those
leggy specters that amble about the queues bandoleered

in pot-metal replicas no one buys, appear at homethe pack
of Polish tourists uniformed in red & white baseball caps,
who join snaky lines only because their Latvian tour
had made no arrangements, are certainly not. They've every

color eye, dominated by weary blue, & a dumpling-thickness
in the jowlsbut they do have a jaded European look not seen
in the svelte Romanian men holding hands. Nor the swarthy
woman with an old Zeiss-Ikon, its ebon bellows as retro

as the riveted ties. Of course not in burka-clad women behind
well-coiffed Lebanese mothers, who push pampered boys
in strollers. Nor Chinese tour-guides pointing to wheels
where greased cables will elevate their retinues. Aliens,

amid which seagulls & sparrows scutter, to beg for baguette-bits
with evil little eyes. Yet the American couples are natural here,
taking to this structure as if it were their own, awed by
the iron-plate forebear of Erector Sets, the phallic shadow.

Robert Eastwood lives in San Ramon, California. His work appeared recently in The Dirty Napkin, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Full Of Crow, Legendary, Softblow, Up The Staircase Quarterly, and Loch Raven Review. His chapbooks are The Welkin Gate, Over Plainsong, Night of the Moth. Nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize.