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

- for Sujata Bhatt What was Left Over Eleanor Wilner

1

As you said, Sujata, it was not
mentioned, was kept out
of the story, out of the elaborate ritual
of parting and redemption, the gorgeous
sanction of sacrifice - that plunge
into the heart of fire, the drugged victim
or the fear-crazed hero, the scattered
entrails of power, of belief -
but there, you described it, how the elephants
gather, how they circle, and see it; how they
see it and mourn: the torn carcass
with the head taken for the trophy room
of the gods; the stumps where a tusk
or a forest once grew;
                               the priest wiping clean
the blood of a lean season from the ritual
...


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