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This poem is taken from PN Review 131, Volume 26 Number 3, January - February 2000.

Gold Elaine Feinstein

1

A wintry gold floods the bedroom this morning:
a January sun, drenching the air, alight
in a silk scarf, a yellow flare in the mirror.
I used to revel in the glitter of night,
but, over here, the dark has little glamour.

Let me introduce myself: Lorenzo da Ponte.
Mozart would smile to see me here in America
weighing out tea or measuring a yard
of plug tobacco. I have bolts of cloth,
salt pork in kegs, sewing thread, waxed cord.

My customers are cobblers and carters.
They offer lame horses and watery cider
instead of money; I must be content
to scratch a meagre living as a grocer.
It is a mask I wear, and I have spent

most of my life in one disguise or another.
...


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