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This poem is taken from PN Review 223, Volume 41 Number 5, May - June 2015.

‘Bugis Street’ and Other Poems Gerry Croft
Bugis Street

The air is more astounding now,
just as we open the curtains at 5 a.m. and look out
towards Hove, the mess of billboards, peeling paint,
neon in the new daylight,
steam from a stray pipe, some café just open –
the detritus every small town throws up
before it mercifully peters out in the available fields,
the bright imaginable country.

Though nothing really begins like this –
a hand held out, a gesture… but a puzzle maybe,
a feeling of not being quite right
even in these spartan clothes, especially the clothes.
Still, we have to walk the same streets
and be nice to young Marcel – and we are.

The shingle was hot under our bare feet
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