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This poem is taken from PN Review 160, Volume 31 Number 2, November - December 2004.

Five Poems Geoffrey Brock


Forgive my scrawl: I'm writing this in the near-dark
     so as not to wake you. I'm amazed you're sleeping;
I can't. Whenever we grind into some rural station,
     I wait for your eyes to tighten or to snap

open with fright, with that oh-shit-what's-happening look
     that sometimes comes to them on sudden waking,
even at home - if a cat, say, jumps from the bed,
     tamping the floor, or the heater stutters on.

Your eyes stay shut but not still, moving beneath their lids
     to a rhythm as far beyond me as the landscapes
of shadow that unreel themselves on the far side
     of this drawn vinyl shade... We're slowing, again,

to a stop. Someone's shuffling off, dragging a bag -
     if you hear that, you hear it as something else,
and if you feel our gentle waking from inertia

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