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N

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has crawled out of the ocean
to carry us from sleep, like sleep,

the gray of outer Sunset portending
the gray of inner Sunset. And so on.

On the N, one should invent
intricate fictions for the lives

of the passengers: time is a game.
Soon we will be underground.

But first, the long lush green
of Duboce Park, the happiness of dogs!

Good-bye now to their owners
eyeing one another. Good-bye

to the park's locked men's room,
where once a man was found dead,

his penis shoved into his own mouth.
The world continues, the engine

of the world the letter N.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

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