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This poem is taken from PN Review 121, Volume 24 Number 5, May - June 1998.

Five Poems Stephen Burt

Aubade

after Jaime Gil de Biedma: Un cuerpo es el mejor amigo de hombre

Reefs of our bodies brighten to outlines
like the crisp fur-edged curves of burnt newsprint -

your crewcut head severely in your place,
and I awake in mine. We are too far
apart now to expect to explore again
the coral ramparts of ourselves, the wide
inlets and waters, tides and manmade wards -
what had we been last night that we are now?

As if it belonged there, as if it belonged to you,
too weighty and misshapen to dissolve,
nothing to see or see through, a blank tear
moves out from the clear edge of your closed eye.
Grit in the wind, grit in the strong light - clean
already in your sleep you turn away;
...


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