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This poem is taken from PN Review 257, Volume 47 Number 3, January - February 2021.

Two Poems Madeleine Pulman-Jones
Embassies

In Moscow, I lived opposite a row of embassies.
They rolled down the street like a sentence

off a polyglot’s tongue.
One morning, I found a full stop

in front of the Estonian embassy:
a lump on my neck. It felt final,

and I knew denial was hopeless –
that the year had run out of breath.

Even in the day’s new light,
the facades coloured a sunset –

The Netherlands was yellow, Japan was pink,
Estonia was the grey that comes before night.

I used to think that seeing was puzzling out –
that it was a kind of translation. For example,

I knew that if you looked hard enough,
...


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