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This poem is taken from PN Review 119, Volume 24 Number 3, January - February 1998.

Two Poems Will Francis

River

A river runs
quietly through sun and dust.
Pallid human smells and heat suspended.
Close air conceives a form, a man
squats by slow water in the turgid
swell of summer, smoking, smelling
beedi smoke.

Fulcrum of skies, an Indian
he turns his head and swings
white heavens, profusely spinning
on his sheer brow. Flesh rendered
down by sun and work to fit the
facets of the air, and eyes which
seem in motes to trace the grain
of earth, the tidal season's ebb.
A cobbler, perhaps, to sit on stony
...


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