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This poem is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.

Five Poems Karen Press

flakes of the light falling

approximately and here also
one in four vanishing
even as we speak -

lightly and without technique they are dying
slowly and beyond the duration of love

good citizens of a good country, dying modestly
embrace of the infected is a national project
rejection the prerogative of the intimate circle

metaphors of love crack open,
out of their varnished shells
people emerge, dying

howling is not possible where children sleep
and their mothers, dying blossoms of blue light
inside the cloudbursts of men's love

very close to the ground children and their mothers

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