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This poem is taken from PN Review 243, Volume 45 Number 1, September - October 2018.

Four Poems Matthew Sweeney
The Exit

At first it seemed perfect: the green sea,
and a silver pony bounding towards me, as if he
was waiting to carry me anywhere in the world.
He bit me, though, took an apple chunk out of my arm,
where the blood spurted. I should have run away,
but where would I go? The road I’d escaped on
stopped dead, leaving a field where nothing grew
except marram grass. And I saw sheep eyeing me,
while baring their teeth, and crows circling in the sky.
And suddenly, out of some concealed loudspeaker,
came cackling laughter, loud enough to be heard
on the island, where they’d captured me five days
before, when I was playing chess with myself on
the tiny pier, a glass of beer warming on the wall.
I sat on the ground, covering my eyes and my ears
in turn. In the lull before the next attack (which

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