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from 'Apologia'

From "In the Summer of Cancer: Poems" by John Sokol (Endymion Press: 98 pp., $19.95)

August 10, 2003|John Sokol

After you died I often saw your double --

Passing in a car in the other direction,

Or across the street at an intersection;

Your slender silhouette: always unmistakable --

But never in a way that I could have seen

As just tricks of the heart on the mind,

As daydreams of the most delusional kind.

"Persia! Persia! Persia!" What did you mean?

Listen! My words can't buy or draw back time.

These thoughts can't free me from this vest

Of sorrow and regret, nor from this pitiful rhyme.

Despite all the grief I store in my chest,

And all my day's and night's laments,

I can only guess what your last words meant.

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