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This poem is taken from PN Review 234, Volume 43 Number 4, March - April 2017.

Two Poems Adam Thorpe
Mud Puddle

1

There is thought down there, or even
conjecture. An appetite like a famished pike’s.

My grandfather’s Classical Myth and Legend
would fall open to Hylas, as painted by Waterhouse,

still among the living on the water’s edge,
precariously leaning with his shiny jug

towards a pubescent flotilla of girls,
their long hair dark as the pond’s sludge.

He was me, baffled at the age of twelve.
Nipple-deprived, albino-white, with succulent,

vermilion lips, it was only their desire
that made them desirable. I wanted to be

lord of the underwater gloam, spoilt silly,
wrapped in their waist-length russet hair

like the clammy entanglements of Myriophyllum
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