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This poem is taken from PN Review 16, Volume 7 Number 2, November - December 1980.

from 'Graduals' John Peck

It will go hard against me that I stood
          unselved at turns of insomnia
       in a square thronged and torch-lit
          unmindful of the hours, waiting
       for some sanctioned promulgation, for balconies
          clarified by color and raw throats-

then syncopations of massed trumpets,
         sassy attack and blurt-tongueing
       with splays among the higher pitches,
         dilating the deliberations of banners
       among clouds, towers, and gallows-

but skin still husk-wet does not shudder
         at its terrible chrysalis.
       When the whisper came at my left shoulder
         already without sign I had consented.

And when that brass burrowed among urgencies
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