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This poem is taken from PN Review 230, Volume 42 Number 6, July - August 2016.

Two Poems William Logan
Red Slipware, Italian,
c. first century BC


The palm-sized dish, still coated –
no, encrusted! – with the scale    
of some minor, long untenanted village,    
does not offer the hoped-for gossip
about the stranger who buried it,
the exotic disease carried by the Cretan rower; 

cannot provide the pet name of the citizen
who fingered from it – not lark’s tongues,
the slipware too modest – or of the scheming
handmaiden who served him, a slave, of course,
and treated lavishly only in departure
from the lavish; cannot whisper the sins

of the humpbacked potter who turned it
on his wheel (scars still inscribed
...


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