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This poem is taken from PN Review 193, Volume 36 Number 5, May - June 2010.

Three Poems Will Eaves

Any Impediment

My love, there is a problem with the rats.
They’re stuck together like chicken breasts.

If it were merely mingled tails and claws
I wouldn’t mind, but some of them will

need a knife. What if the portions tear?
I do not want to see their bodies split

along a plane of tender grey weakness,
lest with the leakage and the residue

I should become appallingly familiar.
Upstairs your son’s helical pet flickers,

catching the scent of strange deference,
the great taboo of what we find ourselves

doing mostly because we are afraid not to.
Forgive me, love. But I can’t marry you.


De Staël

The picture is a perch
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