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This poem is taken from PN Review 98, Volume 20 Number 6, July - August 1994.

Two Poems Denise Riley

December

Now the dark overcoats go slamming shut all round.
The rain.

And sparrows scraping under rusted leaves
The striped vines blackened and snarled.

Pitted grapefruit of the moon, peel off to a white furred pith!
And leave the dreamers of faces alone.

Moonface. To read the human onto everything
And loose a shower of syrup over zinc.

Being too many people, uselessly.
A whole day's words seep through the sponge head

Of the sleepless hearer, cell speakers puff and foam all night,
Press in on her the sheerest accident - that she

Is not squatting in caves, boiling up grass to feed my daughters
If I do not get shot in the fields, combing them for edible weeds

As here, there, the air
Shoves in to make swollen a space bled thin by any human going out.
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