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This poem is taken from PN Review 189, Volume 36 Number 1, September - October 2009.

Six Poems Gareth Reeves

The Shape of Pain

‘What figure has the pain of the toothache, and our remembrance
of that pain? Is it triangular, or circular, or of a square form?’
      James Beattie, Dissertations Moral and Critical (1783)

Every day it gets a little less.
Wait for the vanishing point.

Parallels reach for infinity.
It goes on gnawing at the edge.

Somewhere out there it stops, it must.
Out there the blue intensifies.

Tomorrow remember it today.
Today imagine it tomorrow.

Look forward to the backward look.
Every day it grows a little less:

I want it and I do not want it to.
I give it a shape. I give it this.


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