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This poem is taken from PN Review 166, Volume 32 Number 2, November - December 2005.

The Shannon Stopover Mary O'Malley

The next house will be bone
A cruciform scrimshaw my passport.
There will be a red lamp by the door

In a niche. They will sit, the gateposts
On the highwater mark
In Spring and all the solstices.

Welcome to life in the metal hum
Of gated love, the votive glow of blood
Flowing through the atrium.

Here, it is pitch black behind the mask
A surprisingly soft hood
Though my wrists chaff, blisters burst.

I won't think of the electrodes
Until it happens. Yesterday someone
Lifted the hood. A place with shades

Of green out of a Hollywood film

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