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This poem is taken from PN Review 188, Volume 35 Number 6, July - August 2009.

Translations of an Unknown Mexican Poet Jee Leong Koh

Unless

I’m going to kill myself unless the day lets me in.
Every face is a closed door. Every tree is a curtain.
The small-headed pigeon brings no message for me.
The bright air gives way but doesn’t give entrance.

I think I have been walking for a very long while,
past tall chain fences, down smoked church aisles,
round and round the shrinking circle of a clock,
away from the turn of cliffs that I walk towards.

I’m going to the Brooklyn Bridge, to stop thinking
about fences and churches and clocks. I’m going
to the middle of the Bridge to throw myself over it
to find another door since the day won’t let me in,

unless some tree decides to raise its blind an inch,
unless some bird, perhaps a gull, begins to sing.


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