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

Four Poems John F. Deane


On sunbright days the porpoises
lift like birds over the water, striving
to sing; flesh lets them down, but they persist;

a half-deck trawler, half-sunk and skeletal in the bay
broke free in storm and would take to the air;
like the rest of us it is anchored to itself

by weight. A pear-shaped toy balloon, blood-red,
rising above the beach, was fat with someone's breathing;
should it burst now and drop, a pear-shaped breath

would hold its singular shape a space; then
would the blue of the sky appear a little brighter?
When the angel touched on earth did Miriam's flesh

become one with spirit to allow God's essence through?
Burdened with messages, he was pleading for release.
Miriam, ascetic, purging the body of desire

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