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This poem is taken from PN Review 163, Volume 31 Number 5, May - June 2005.

Three Poems Alison Brackenbury

Avoiding Japan

The tall boy, who hates flying, flies.
You have switched off your phone.
But your dreams wrap him with small limbs.
When you drive down alone

To your new room, the curtains flap
To Cardiff's unsought heat.
They dance a print of alphabet,
Black slashes, murderous, neat.

Your home town chirrups students.
You flee it. On the way
Down mobiles in the London coach
Tokyo talks all day.

No. Pain is unavoidable.
Cut thumbs, the treacherous man
Who shivers at ten thousand feet.
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