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This poem is taken from PN Review 103, Volume 21 Number 5, May - June 1995.

Wherever you are, be somewhere else Denise Riley
 

A body shot through, perforated, a tin sheet
beaten out then peppered with thin holes,
silvery, leaf-curled at their edges; light flies

right through this tracery, voices leap, slip side-
long, all faces split to angled facets: whichever
piece is glimpsed, that bit is what I am, held

in a look until dropped like an egg on the floor
let slop, crashed to slide and run, yolk yellow
for the live, the dead who worked through me.

Out of their lined shell the young snakes broke
past skin fronds stretched over sunless colour or
lit at a slant, or saturated grey - a fringe flapping

round nothing, frayed on a gape of glass, perspex
seen through, seen past, no name, just scrappy
filaments lifting and lifting over in the wind.
...


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