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This poem is taken from PN Review 60, Volume 14 Number 4, March - April 1988.

Poems Harry Mathews
 
Entreaty to My Mother

Saying this in the words of a son is hard,
This something so little like what is in my heart.

Only you in the world knows what always was,
Where my heart is concerned, before all other loves.

That is why I must tell you something I loathed to
learn:
It is out of your grace that my anguish is born.

You are irreplaceable. And because of this
The life you gave me is doomed to loneliness.

And I don't want to be alone. Nothing can console
My hunger for love, love of bodies with no soul.

Because the soul is in you; is you; but then
You are my mother, and your love is my chain.

I spent my childhood chained to a high sense
- High and irremediable - of a duty that was immense.
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