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This poem is taken from PN Review 171, Volume 33 Number 1, September - October 2006.

Two Duets Christopher Bakken

Duet with Fernando Pessoa

 At times we wish that we could disappear,
 having followed too long the terrified trails of sparrows
 between rafter beams and the branches of elms
 – all that's been dashed upon itself
 in back alleyways and coal-pits, everything I follow
 on my brainless ramble through the market,
 where I flatten out to fit the tatters of my wallet.
 Meanwhile, the baker's fire collapses back to ash,
 and the broad-chested church on the corner
 absorbs all sounds not sanctioned by the rain.

 When we see between things, where ether's heaving
 at the border, see how the shape of the leaf, for instance,
 dilates beyond contours permitted by the eye,
 where underlying matter can muster beyond
 the banter of books, then we see a votive geometry

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