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This poem is taken from PN Review 8, Volume 5 Number 4, July - September 1979.

Four Ages Andrew Waterman

I.
Humbling herself to what her self cried out for,
she would sometimes walk, arms linked, through starry streets
after a party, to someone's makeshift flat;
to seek, from the sexual thrust, a spark that might,
two clasped bodies cherishing the flame,
light the sensed path out through all this-as one
in darkness strikes a match, and strikes again,
to burn to the flesh, let drop.
And they, who woke beside her, and at rest,
touching at curves of ankle, shoulder, hip,
saw only the face still masked; noticed perhaps
the eyes escape them, roam the room, and when
slowly they turned her head to theirs,
stampede against blank walls, new wastes of day.

2.
But always, only the silence of compassion
on her husband's face, when she said "Say you love me back"-
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