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This poem is taken from PN Review 78, Volume 17 Number 4, March - April 1991.

Four Poems Christopher Middleton

TRISTIA EX: PROVINCIA

Twenty times in the night a horse ran past
My hidden house. When I looked
I saw a head and back and hoofs;
All the articulations in between
Were solid flesh, the heartbeat of a horse.

It ran between the olive and the broom,
While in Berlin people took to the streets,
Shouted their disbelief at the police
And brought a dismal system crashing down.
Between the olive and the broom it ran

Doing what comes freely to a horse:
Blubbering out through lips an oaty breath,
Or stationary, tossing a mane at the moon.
Whenever I got up I shook with fright,
I pinched myself when I lay down again.
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