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The Insufferable History of a Place

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The Insufferable History of a Place

Sitting on a sun-ripened block
Sitting in the sun again
I try to control
and strip my clothes,
look my best
for the Colossus of Rhodes.

If I could be satisfied and told
of a refresh of feeling and sense:
the intimacy of this heat.
If I could be battered and rolled
and leavened like sourdough-

but this is mine alone.
The uneventful cold
and safety of home is lost
to the North – these outside rooms
make me sweat and slow

this feels nothing like a room,
nothing like the bold industry
of an air-conditioned hole,
and I have never been so wet
and on display;
this is more the lucid glass
of an inveterate fishbowl.

Above me,
the canopy bails out sun
and fights and tries to fill
this bloating, oily green:
a raging furnace burning fervent
with windows, door and roof
open to the colder night.

But wind cannot displace the intimate sun,
the leaves cannot shade,
and what shade remains
will not guard
against the Yard’s invective gaze.

Copyright © Paul Sylvester

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