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This poem is taken from PN Review 38, Volume 10 Number 6, May - June 1984.

Eight Skips Around the Aura of Erato Christopher Middleton


These things that trouble us - on a bench
Under trees, talking: Where to start?
The heat and
The boats going out and
Thunder cracking across the sky and
However tenderly you held my hand it didn't mean

What I made of it. Contacts
Break down. The old absorbent aquifer
Common sense, who has it?
Who can guarantee anything?


        Signed, a picture of you,
Dangerous. It has to touch
The sky, this feeling, keen, it

Hurts (and the rest -
Routine, buckling down, the 'norms') but here
You help me to imagine one 'flesh', sliced

And falling open, reformed, in our airy

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