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In the city



Jack Oakley
February 12, 2006

I sought for fullness far and wide in the city

And finally found you outside, in the city.

You complied with my self-serving plea when I asked

You for tea to drink by my side in the city.

Ah love, my heart is torn by your effort.  Et tu,

Brutal friend to whom I confide in the city?

The forty-two unknown and unconsigned compassions

Are each by one our bride in the city.

Love and defection, potency, quickness and wit,

Pity and fortitude are tried in the city.

Does it matter that forests and starlight were never

Known by children who lived and died in the city?

Girls from gated suburban comfort are too

Loose, their girdled waists come untied in the city.

Cow-minded men sneer and deride, even the ones

Who forbear remain countrified in the city.

Fortuned they whom foreign attitude becomes, for

All that is thought is reified in the city.

Don’t limit yourself, Jack, to this, for whatever

You say, it is all bona fide in the city.

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Book of the day

Borrowed Ware
Medieval Persian Epigrams
Translated by Dick Davis


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