Fall 1990 • Vol. XII No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1990 |

Three Purgatory Poems

       1      So many small flames      in the dim cathedral,      like a chorus      of high, wavering voices.      You add another, lighting      a candle for the doctor      whose life's work you are.        2 Something's not right. You can't place it; you feel like that character in Kafka whose feet never touched the ground, a simple man hovering above the streets of Prague. The day breaks, the sunlight rains down all afternoon, but something's wrong . . . It's as though you walked out of yourself. It's as though the sky leaned a little closer. It's as though your sorrow, like loose change, slipped through a hole in your pocket . . .        3      . . . You see the one      unashamed of his listening,      unashamed that he rises      from his knees, the way others      rise from a meal: ti

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