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This poem is taken from PN Review 264, Volume 48 Number 4, March - April 2022.

Three Further Poems in English Mark Dow

The sign for Poland – sorry to
say it – same as the sign for
breast. At least it’s pretty close.


Both. I speak both. I grew up in Hong Kong
So we speak Cantonese. But then in school
They taught us Mandarin so that’s why I speak
Both. But honestly I think that Mandarin’s
More beautiful. It’s just more beautiful
The way it sounds. It goes like this. Just up
And down. It’s smooth, you know? The Cantonese
Is harsh. Too sharp. It sounds too sharp. You hear
It, right? And Mandarin’s the only language
That you use both sides your brain, both halves.
Most languages use one side. Because it’s words
And also music too. That’s why it sounds so

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