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This poem is taken from PN Review 186, Volume 35 Number 4, March - April 2009.

Four Poems Omar Sabbagh

Nymph and I

What provokes anxiety? Contrary to what people say, it is neither
the rhythm nor the alternation of the mother’s presence-absence…
What is most anxiety-producing for the child is when the relationship
through which he comes to be - on the basis of lack which makes
him desire - is most perturbed: when there is no possibility of lack,
when his mother is constantly on his back.

                                                                         Jacques Lacan, Seminar X

Talk to me nymph. Tell me your white-water secrets.
Tell me how all men vanish in you,
The tall ones and the short ones, the brown
And the white, the lacklustre bony
And the fat treasured ones.
Tell me your story: we are at sea together
You and I, unravelled by landfall as yet.

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