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This poem is taken from PN Review 82, Volume 18 Number 2, November - December 1991.

Unaccompanied Voices: Imitations of Eugenio Montale's Mottetti Herbert Lomas

I

You know it: I have to lose you again
and I can't. Each act snipes me,
each cry, and the blown salt too
swilling the harbour mole
and making the sombre spring
of Sottoripa.

Region of ironware and rigging -
forestlike in the dusty evening.
From outside comes a long rasping -
grating like a nail on the window pane.
I look for the lost sign, the single
token you graced me with.

And I'm certain of Hell.

IV

Though far away, I was close
when your father entered the shades
and gave you his goodbye. What
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