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This poem is taken from PN Review 21, Volume 8 Number 1, September - October 1981.

Four Poems Peter Scupham

Nights turning in, fold upon awkward fold,
Leaves of a burnt book whose dull pages crumble
Their brittle edges and discolorations.
The stitching weakens, flesh and spirit split.
Black epiphanies: a spring of night-sweats,
A text of dreams, a dance of matchstick bones
And soundless windows opening on no-place.
The hour-glass nips my sand against its fall.

Somewhere across the street a woman dies.
The knowledge drugs my childhood into sickness
And curtains flap out-sharply at my bedside.
Nothing, nothing. The boy's head turns about
And elm-tops thresh across the greying light.
Cold bowls of spew, the shake, the severance
When something old and wrinkled can be still.
Love hovers there upon the slipping years.
...


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