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Remembrance of Things Future, By HENRI COULETTE

January 27, 1991| Excerpts from a longer work. From "The Collected Poems of Henri Coulette" (University of Arkansas Press: $24.95). Patrick O'Reilly. Reprinted with permission

You arrive in a new town.

Your suitcase yawns. Your troubles

Unpack themselves and dress up.

A night on the town! Poor town.

The wallpaper reminds you

Of a story or poem

You started once in a room

Much like this room, this poem.

You will dial Room Service

And order a fifth of gin.

You will drink an inch of it,

Clear as cellophane, and laugh,

Having heard in the next room

The shuffle of playing cards.

You will knock. You will sit in.

You will fill your inside straights.

-- -- --

You are the tall dark stranger, and his ghost.

You will forgive. You will forget. Almost.

-- -- --

There are those who dream of keys.

There are those who dream of locks.

You dream of neither. You are the key;

You are the lock. There is no turning.

You are like a good novelist.

Your characters never open doors,

Never close them. And when they speak,

They say thou , they say thee.

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