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This poem is taken from PN Review 129, Volume 26 Number 1, September - October 1999.

Two Poems Linda Chase

Crossing the Street

Before he crossed the street
he must have spoken the words out loud
because they weren't part of a conversation.
I could hear the word coffee, the name of a cafe,
above the noise of the traffic before I saw him.
And then I saw him in front of me, asking
would I go for a cup of coffee with him.
He must have recognised me easily,
even after all the years our marriages took.
Did he think we could just carry on?

He might have stayed there, across the street,
shouting the names of all the women
he'd met, fallen for and fucked since then,
the names of diseases he'd suffered,
a list of all the countries he'd visited on holiday,

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