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This poem is taken from PN Review 191, Volume 36 Number 3, January - February 2010.

Fifteen Poems John Ashbery

O Knave

Don’t forget to write!
Hopefully it’s coming to pass even as we speak,
by which I intend variorum wish lists padded
with reeds and days, people like your mother
or others unlike your mother who have nothing
in common with you except to be like you
whom they never know. How rich with
possibilities this lakeside afternoon is!
Scissors decorating the walls’ gules or argent,
and some distance away, Hessian soldier moulds
or firedogs, queering the visitor,
who can stand no more, appetites maxed out.
I was going to say drop me off further
but you already knew
this was what we both wanted.
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