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This poem is taken from PN Review 185, Volume 35 Number 3, January - February 2009.

A Walk in the Morning Sun Stephen Burt


after Pablo Neruda

Let me tell you: sometimes I get so tired
of being a human being that I stroll in
to dry cleaners, pharmacies, and video stores
so parched, so lost, like a swan made out of felt
in a grade - school diorama, stuck with paste
on a cardboard pond somewhere between death and birth -
I wander from shelf to shelf, and customers flee.
                              All I know that I want
right now is to sleep all day, like a stone under frost,
like a wool cardigan locked in a chest for a year.
I get so tired of having fingernails,
of having eyes and feet, a scalp and hair,
so tired, in fact, of having to be
a man...
                              Still, I wouldn't mind
surprising a clerk at Home Depot with a lily,
or knocking a sportscaster out with a punch in the head.
...


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