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This poem is taken from PN Review 267, Volume 49 Number 1, September - October 2022.

Three Poems Eli P. Mandel
hôtel de l’ancien régime

The resort was filling up.
He slept on the top floor,
in a room slightly beyond your means.
Droplets fell on the red cross outside.
I wish you hadn’t bought fruit was what he had said.
Everything seemed to come in twos,
which made thinking ungainly,
like the gait of a fat man, and
at the bar the salaryman was saying:
Poetry has been dead in the West since Orpheus,
Dead since it left the underworld.
There was no point in looking up the citation.
You moved the letters around in search of the god’s name.
Was it Neutrality? No.
Someone was bearing witness in the courtyard.

a drop of cooling lead

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