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This poem is taken from PN Review 208, Volume 39 Number 2, November - December 2012.

from Archilochus on the Moon Simon Perril
'Announce to the Parians, Archilochus, that I bid you found a conspicuous city on the moon.'


1.

the throat and feet collect it:
dust, deep and the colour of age
spread thick as a painted lady's cheek.

We settle on the pock-marked grave
of all faces; the undergarments
of all the sacked places
the oracle sent us to,
for a few more allotments

lands to turn our spear-flexing hands
to; and if they are taken,
Ares, there is no mistaking
with what we irrigate crops.

Yet here the seas have died
so to what, exactly, do we sacrifice
save memories of wineskins,
fair-capped waves, Parian figs
...


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