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This poem is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

Three Poems William Gilson
Desire

Realising that he didn’t any longer wish to go permanently asleep
left him confused. What to do next was not a question he felt ready for,
racked as he was by daily waking, the coming-round.
And now that rain had become nearly incessant he was beginning to think
maybe he couldn’t last one more day.

If only Russia could be blamed for starting it, he wouldn’t mind
a nuclear war, full scale.
The absence of responsibility, the vastness beyond anything
you could read about, beyond all distances...

                                                         ... the problem was
the imagination, it threw up the other aspect, the flip-side
of ultimate catastrophe.
                            Suppose it proved to be a single thing –
one clear spring, oozing from a hillside, pure drinkable water,
                                                                trickling, pooling?
...


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