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This poem is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

For Laurence Olivier
with Years of Gratitude
Stanley Moss
I do not speak at the beginning
but the end of a breath.
My first night on a public stage,
not having the money for the toll bridge or subway,
I swam across the Thames and East River.
I was an Ancient Greek naked actor,
I played tragedy and comedy, the attendance
by law only free Athenian men.

Like any child, I acted,
most stop in their teens,
let the curtain fall forever.
They dream their own dreams,
while actors spend their lives
acting out the dreams of others.

I sometimes explode a spoken word.
I never gabble. In Shakespeare’s day,

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