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This poem is taken from PN Review 156, Volume 30 Number 4, March - April 2004.

The Castaway Robert Minhinnick

      Sleepless
I keep sleep in my pocket,
insomnia a sea-urchin language
and the nights strung together dried like chilies,
the red, the black, the ceaseless, the unbearable,
the darkness of chilie wombs rattling with stars.

But every night
a whale in the bay
spits at the moon.
Though it does not exist
how quickly I put my serenade together
for our low-tide rendezvous.

Look at me, I say to the no one there.
One day these bones will be silver in the sea-holly.
But today I darken, I darken,
my skin a caste-marked congregation in a chancel of salt.
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