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This poem is taken from PN Review 105, Volume 22 Number 1, September - October 1995.

Four Poems Stephen Burt

After the Death of Jaime Gil de Biedma
(Jaime Gil de Biedma)
 
Across the patio or in the garden, reading,
the house's shadow obscures
the page:; the penitent cold, the end of August,
turns my thoughts backwards, to you.

This garden and its house approach
the birdsong in the complicated trees:
the absence of August, when it grows dark, gets lost,
and your book falls from my hand like the end of the year

in which you died. If only, in that winter
of your last sights, you had been given a glimpse
of sweetness, a taste of light! But I don't

think so. What I want to remember now
are not the hours, the last year,
of your beating your head against cabinets, drunken months, bruises
...


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