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This poem is taken from PN Review 118, Volume 24 Number 2, November - December 1997.

Three Poems Ruth Padel

Pharoah's Cup

I'd like to do a deal with God
about a day and night to let you sleep
since that's what you're short of.

Credit-book each lift of your naked chest to stay
unasked-for, if you can bear that, undisturbed
(unless you want to be) and far away

up here: this room with its absurd
red sheets, glass pomegranates, fathomless CD,
my granny's blackout curtains from the war,

plus the card
I've kept on a mantelpiece for years
and now see why,

of Tutankhamun's alabaster cup
which promises he'll face the rising sun
looking his version of happiness smack in the eye.

Picture him. Hope in a cup. Hope of a wangled future
when such details as tentative faxes,
crazily late late nights,
...


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