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This poem is taken from PN Review 180, Volume 34 Number 4, March - April 2008.

Two Poems Les Murray

The Suspect Corpse

The dead man lay, nibbled, between
dark carriages of a rocky river,

a curled load of himself, in cheap
clothes crusted in dried water.

Noisy awe, nose-crimped, sent us up the
gorge, to jail, in case we were hoaxing.

Following us back down next morning
forensics mentioned his wish bone

but never could pry any
names from between his teeth,

not his own, nor who had lashed
his ankles, or put boulders in his clothes.

After three months, he could only
generalise, and had started smiling.


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