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This poem is taken from PN Review 107, Volume 22 Number 3, January - February 1996.

Five Poems Jay Parini

Good Friday in Amalfi
The terrace is a tier of flame tonight,
a lavish send-off to the day,

the red sea curling in the stony cove,
the town lights flickering, a mass of candles

on the dusky shore. Goodbye, I wave,
as long-limbed vines begin to chitter

and the rose-thorns dig, their chafers buzzing.
Arum lilies blow their hornlike buds.

Behind my house, the bare-faced cliff
maintains a solitary crooked grin

as if it knows what I have done
or left undone, my desultory sins.

But now it's over, I pretend, near dark,
lifting my arms in racy wind -

white winds that fit me like a loose soutane.
...


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