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This poem is taken from PN Review 66, Volume 15 Number 4, March - April 1989.

Three Poems Ken Smith

Greetings from the Winter Palace

Once he'd won a medal, he had a letter
proved it. He'd had a wife and a wedding.
He came and went, talking with his hands,
with all his names and all of them alibis.

Call him Bob, call him Bounce, call him Dodge,
he's up again and down again, he says
beneath his breath if you want to know the time
ask a policeman
. He has a problem and a needle

and he steals to keep it sharp. He writes
from his next station of the cross
I'm in the Ville not treading on the star.
I dream of snow, of Acapulco or any fix
.

And then he's fading to a scrawl, the number
that he goes by, gesture of his mouth,
his hands folding on his hands. Then he's gone,
...


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