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This poem is taken from PN Review 7, Volume 5 Number 3, April - June 1979.

Four Poems Jonathan Galassi


I want to hold on to the hand of the man
who is stronger than I am, feed on his energy.
I can't look him in the eye: when I do I see
blue crystal, dangerous sand.

I want to shake off the weight of the man
who is weaker than I am, who's about to drown
and holds me back, who shrivels when
I breathe and shivers when I stare him down.

If anger were power, not the loss of it,
-an engine revving on an empty tank,
a ghost of power-then weak would be strong
and the strong in being strong
would have a double.
                      If anger were power
we'd either all be dead or living together
in a peace we can't imagine, bound to love
the little lives we ruin when we move.

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