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This poem is taken from PN Review 183, Volume 35 Number 1, September - October 2008.

Three Poems James Womack

'Don't Look Back, Lonesome Boy'

Slowly and patiently we have forgotten it all.
When we made the nails tremble in the headboard
And you rose up with a whisper, the gentle surf moaning.
Underneath the voices, a guitar sounded on the radio.
We believed (at least I believed) in the strength of our arms,
In the precise detail, proof against anything, of our faltering liquid memories,
In the absolute power of those poems I wrote
When I slid barefoot from bed - I scribbled them blindly,
While you were sleeping,
On any old paper, in a book.
There are so many beautiful, serious, urgent words that will stay forgotten.
I thought the only worthwhile writing was direct and shameless.

To love you,
While things were like this, while they stayed like this as you slept, naked,
And I had a scrap of paper, or the wall,
Or some blank corner of the planet;
...


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