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

Two Poems Kei Miller

The Book of Sudden Lights At Night

for Michael Moineau, almost mugged

An American friend who has not lived in America
    for years, who has found for himself love and a room
in Germany filled some days with the great clacking
    of his keyboard, on others, with quiet consideration
of each word typed - tells me, while shaking,
    of a boy in Berlin who demanded his wallet.
And so I would understand his impulse to shout
     'motherfucker!', as if the blade pressed against his belly
had pushed up and out his throat all the anger of exile,
    he describes to me fear larger than the spilling of guts -
of losing yet another country, and a language
    he had just begun to dream in - how he knew then
a wallet was more than credit cards or euros -
...


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