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This poem is taken from PN Review 221, Volume 41 Number 3, January - February 2015.

‘The Gold Pistol’ and Other Poems Yusef Komunyakaa
The Gold Pistol

There’s always someone who loves gold
bullion, boudoirs, & bathtubs, always
some dictator hiding in a concrete culvert
crying, Please don’t shoot, a high priest
who mastered false acts & blazonry,
the drinking of a potion after bathing
in slow oils of regret, talismans & amulets
honed to several lifetimes of their own,
the looting of safes & inlaid boxes of jewels,
moonlight on brimstone, fires eating sky,
& this is why my heart almost breaks
when a man dances with Gaddafi’s pistol
raised over his head, knowing the sun
runs to whatever shines, & as the young
grows old, there’s always a raven
...


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