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This poem is taken from PN Review 28, Volume 9 Number 2, November - December 1982.

Poems Michael Hofmann

A few streets back, next to the airport,
Uli is married or not, and expecting
her second child . . . After years of watching her,
thinking she looked like a certain film-star,
and fuelled by the sociological myth of Fensterln
in Austria-a Darwinian promiscuity
deliberately countenanced by the parents:
(the princess unties her long blonde hair,
her lovers use it as a rope-ladder, climbing
up to her window; the arrangement continues
until it produces a grandson and heir)-
I ran downstairs to meet her. That evening
we went to a bar. She was shorter and broader
than I expected, her face was very freckled,
and she had a strong Carinthian accent-
all things that my perspective kept from me.
...


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