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This poem is taken from PN Review 232, Volume 43 Number 2, November - December 2016.

Two Poems Mary Noonan


Flânerie of the Beaver

for Eugène Savitskaya

The poet walks the city brandishing the breast-
bone of a magpie, his wishbone, mark
of his poverty. He follows the ancient runnels
of the Bièvre, a river forced under the cobbles
of the Latin Quarter centuries ago.

He is tracing the tracks of the beavers
who once gnawed the bark of chestnut trees
on the river bank. He wants to be a beaver,
to shake off his man’s carcass. As he walks,
he meditates on his foot, how crucial it is

to his survival, and dreams of growing his coccyx
into a tail, or releasing precious castoreum
from the glands in the castor sac behind his
testicles. If he has money, he stops for red wine
...


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