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This poem is taken from PN Review 158, Volume 30 Number 6, July - August 2004.

Five Poems Sophie Hannah

The Onus

I will not mention seeing you again.
Nor will I cut our time together short,
Tell you my honest view of you, or men,
Reduce our possibilities to sport.
I will be neither saboteur nor life support.

I will spread space around my words and smiles
For you to ask how far is my hotel,
For affirmations, let-downs or denials.
You'll have to be the one to crack the spell.
I will not let you push me and pretend I fell.

Praise you deserve, that I would love to give,
I will withhold, but neither will I rail
Against your house rules or the way you live -
A libertine one day, a man in jail
The next. I won't determine if we thrive or fail.

You'll have to work out what I mean to say,
What I have meant to you. I'll try to be
...


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