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This poem is taken from PN Review 207, Volume 39 Number 1, September - October 2012.

Stranger's Mirror Marilyn Hacker
Beside her bookshelves, in his winter coat,
a denim jacket lined with cotton fleece,
and who might not have said to him, 'Then stay...'
as there was, all at once, a lot to say,
except that was another century's
invitation. Her questions, bilingual jests
came from the creased lips and crepey throat
of a woman in her sixties.
Alone, and with a choice of alphabet
she did not reconstruct the repartee,
at once anodyne and intimate,
nor pause at her stacked desk to contemplate
disaster she might well precipitate
if her neck were smooth. If she had breasts.


When her neck was smooth, when she had breasts,
she thought the body was the least of it,
...


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