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This poem is taken from PN Review 71, Volume 16 Number 3, January - February 1990.

Three Poems Roger Finch

Friendship Is an Ancient Clay Tablet

                                                                                                                    
I spread my writings in the sun.

'Bird tracks', your people say,
flattening faces to the glass,
but philologists, wise
to things before their years,
read sa... kús.n, my word for 'love',
literally: 'to rest the heart'.

Death leaves hoofprints in the damp.
Not always death,
but always forgetfulness,
these marks cross out
names from my list of friends.

The scholars put here
suspension points:
No great loss '...' and '...'
...


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