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This poem is taken from PN Review 200, Volume 37 Number 6, June - July 2011.

Beyond Enigma Jeffrey Wainwright
I hear of other modes of high indifference.

Can I imagine this:
I walk up to my enemy; I slice off my nose.
It lies at his feet. I slice off my left hand.
It drops to the ground. Is there blood in the dust?

Is there pain? If so it is felt.

Who feels it?

This question can't be understood.


Now, how did I intend to do that?

Did I say that I would do it?

By whom would I be understood?

'It was intended' is all that could be said.

But it must be understood.

The understanding is yet more important
than the sharpness of the blade.


There are those who have lived - and died - beyond enigma:

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