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This poem is taken from PN Review 111, Volume 23 Number 1, September - October 1996.

Four Poems Stephen Burt
 

Letter from Cytherea
after Jaime Gilde Biedma: 'Desembarco en Citerea'

After the distant nightclubs and their piers
had cut off lamps for curfew, quiet laws
descended on our island;
a fingernail, a residue of light
rose up before dawn on the facing beach -

a thoughtful phosphorescence, a thin gaze,
a parachute afloat. So near that sea,
from the planning-mistake of the wooden boulevard,
where we waited for hours for the townies' night
to shut down for us, there seemed to fly towards us,

again and again, the sense of being enormous,
part of the atmosphere, clarified, so that the docks,
their rush and scrappy nettles, took up space
...


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