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This poem is taken from PN Review 236, Volume 43 Number 6, July - August 2017.

Four Sonnets Mimi Khalvati
The Boy

The boy would always wear his coat indoors,
a long black cashmere, threadbare now and fraying.
He’d place a folding magnifying mirror,
as though to shave before he started playing,

on top of the piano, tilt its face
up towards his own, then sitting down
still in his hat and coat, lean like Narcissus
close to its silver circle, round reflection,

and drowning stare, just stare, deaf as a mute
to ‘Don’t you want to take your coat off darling?’,
deaf to his fingers resting on the keys.

Time made no sense to him. Minute by minute,
silent as time without him in it would be,
the boy, who was a man, sat fiercely staring.



Afterwardness

An eleven-year-old boy from Aleppo
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