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This poem is taken from PN Review 251, Volume 46 Number 3, January - February 2020.

Keeper of the Fire John Fuller
In memory of Saul Touster (1925—2018)

Among the googols of irrelevant facts today
Is the one I feared to find: a terminal date
To your career of distinction as poet and lawyer.

It is not only a shocking rent
In your personal fabric of space and time
But now a plain event in the public account

Occurring after the latest, and now the last
Of your fond communiqués of bravado,
Written ‘from the edge of eternity.’

We had long exchanged these messages of affection
And wry good cheer, as though we had somehow given birth
To our own elderly selves, almost by accident.

Surprised at survival, dismayed at the vagaries
Of that weak organ of circulation and delay
Which turns hope or dismay into imperfect prayers.

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