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This poem is taken from PN Review 269, Volume 49 Number 3, January - February 2023.

Four Poems Petra White
Passing Through Chicago

Rivers of road, rivers of river, snow-clumped trees,
the angel, flowering in moonlight.
People would have muttered if they’d seen.
What good is an angel now?
His terrifying beauty, hidden beneath a wing.
If we think we could be rescued, from the fate we’ve shored up,
it is not an angel, it’s a person, rising out of flames.
Perhaps the angel, fallen to earth as lightly
as a feather from a falcon, has nothing to offer but himself,
pale clawed feet in the dark street, his feeble torch
on this avenue of twitching flags, threads of a great anxiety.
He crawls into the attic of number 1813.
In the space between home and state,
the angel shudders, turns, cramped wings shake open –
through the house a molten dream, through breakfast and dinner,

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