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This poem is taken from PN Review 90, Volume 19 Number 4, March - April 1993.

Three Poems Mimi Khalvati


Mr. Khalvati? Larger than life he was;
too large to die so they wired him up on a bed.
Small as a soul he is on the mountain ledge.

Lids gone thin as a babe's. If it's mist he sees
it's no mist he knows by name. Can you hear me,
Mr. Khalvati? Larger than life he was

and the death he dies large as the hands that once
drowned mine and the salt of his laugh in the wave.
Small as a soul he is on the mountain ledge.

Can you squeeze my hand? (Ach! Where are the hands
I held so long to pull me back to the baize?)
Mr. Khalvati? Larger than life he was

with these outstretched hands that squeezing squeeze
thin air. Wired he is, tired he is and there,
small as a soul he is on the mountain ledge.

No nudging him out of the nest. No-one to help him
fall or fly, there's no coming back to the baize.

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