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This poem is taken from PN Review 109, Volume 22 Number 5, May - June 1996.

Three Poems Patrick McGuinness


Waiting Objects
'If there is a gun in Act 1, then it must go off in Act 5' -
Chekhov

I
Word Order:

These gifts from you,
arranged into
the order of
their giving, might
spell out how we
have come to this.

II
The Order of Things:

Leaving, you placed these objects that you gave,
Aligned them on my shelf, as if to stave
Away, or barricade us from, what might
Happen when you left. You left. They wait.

Act Five begins. Each one goes off on cue
...


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