PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Next Issue Vahni Capildeo The Boisterous Weeping of Margery Kempe Paul Muldoon The Fly Sinead Morrissey Put Off That Mask Jane Yeh Three Poems Sarah Rothenberg Poetry and Music: Exile and Return
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review Blog
Monthly Carcanet Books

This poem is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.

We Two Against the World James Russell

I came out fighting and my eyes were marble-bright
Coloured bruise-blue, wearing father's shoulders
Like a cloak, mother's temper sparking in my joints.

I was so round and hard and woken-up you might
Have thought I'd polished off two sibs inside.
My fists were tight tucked with unopposable thumbs.

I might have been their 'little girl' but I knew I
Was nothing young on earth. I'd precognised
The horrors: smashed fixtures from the night before,

Their patented dry rot, that they would only share
Those dreams that star four water-running walls.
And all the time I dreamt of you. I dreamed I'd wrap

You up in sheets and call you 'Clovis' and that we'd act
In plays whose composition and control
Was mine. I knew you would be sweet. I precognised

The whole damned thing. He saw it in my face, that man.
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image