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This poem is taken from PN Review 247, Volume 45 Number 5, May - June 2019.

Three Poems Joe Carrick-Varty
Lop Nur

My father dives headfirst into a lake,
swims till his pink shoulders become stars.
He swims for days, beach to beach.

The pink shoulders of my father’s stars
are attached to other stars by invisible rope.
Birds perch on them. Cranes and gulls

and bony blue herons appear at 6 a.m.
from behind the mountain, slipping
like moons, more the more you look.

My headfirst dive’s no match.
Feel the gulp that’s coming, barnacle-
chinned, the birds inexplicably lifting.

Moonless June

For weeks they arrive out of the Arctic Ocean,
watched by a grizzly momma and her cubs,
my father in a sky blue suit,

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