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for David Ferry

They’re supposed to help us talk about here and there–– In your pocket, on the street, under the table.

About then and now––It’s finished between us. Come back to me. What will I do without you?

About when and where––The day before yesterday. Down by the riverside. Over my head.

But what they really mean is: This way? That way? As if I’m still lost one night years ago

in the suburbs of a strange city, asking directions of shadows who’ve no reason at all to speak my language.



This article first appeared in and is reproduced with kind permission from The Times Literary Supplement.