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This poem is taken from PN Review 179, Volume 34 Number 3, January - February 2008.

Three Poems C.K. Stead

Love is a lunatic city

'el amor, sino una ciudad loca.' Pablo Neruda

Tropical fruit and thunder in the mountains;
the flash of water on crazily sloping streets,
precipitation on precipitation; the yellow cabs
and battered buses racing; the tiles I walk on,
the music (samba? salsa?) my ears are hearing
over the fan's buzz; the shout of papaya sellers;
the bank guard with his automatic rifle
and his friend with the silver revolver;
the sign outside the trauma hospital meaning
'We never close'; and in a quarter seeming
without hope, 'La Esperanza -- Centro Dental'...
Everywhere, derelict lives and smiling faces.

They are dining on balconies; in boulevards
their cars are killing one another; somewhere
...


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