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This poem is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

Calligraphies VI Marilyn Hacker
After disaster
(again) in her small skylit
sublet, N. simmers

lentils while she reads a long
book about Ibn Arabi.

In prison they made
chess pieces out of stale bread.
She taught the women

to play. Their first champion was
an apolitical thief.


Political grief,
apolitical despair,
or it’s vice versa –

either way, insomnia.
Rapping on the neighbours’ door,

three in the morning –

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