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This poem is taken from PN Review 259, Volume 47 Number 5, May - June 2021.

Three Poems Nicholas Friedman
Heat Wave

Startled by jingling bells, I part the blinds:
Below, an old man steers his pushcart trike
through warping heat like a creature Ovid forgot,
his case of off-brand ice cream suddenly priceless.
Children fill this makeshift marketplace
to buy a bit of what’s already bought.

The freezer shudders. It’s well past dinner time,
but I won’t light the stove. Better to sit
and watch the plastic fan sway side to side.
The bells jingle again, now farther off.
More children holler for their place in line.
They want some more. They’ll never have enough.

A Kind of Madness

after Carlos Pellicer

I’d papered the windows, sold off the last
of the mismatched stock, and hung a sign on the door:

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