Joseph Brodsky

(24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996 / Leningrad)

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Belfast Tune


Here's a girl from a dangerous town
She crops her dark hair short
so that less of her has to frown
when someone gets hurt.

She folds her memories like a parachute.
Dropped, she collects the peat
and cooks her veggies at home: they shoot
here where they eat.

Ah, there's more sky in these parts than, say,
ground. Hence her voice's pitch,
and her stare stains your retina like a gray
bulb when you switch

hemispheres, and her knee-length quilt
skirt's cut to catch the squall,
I dream of her either loved or killed
because the town's too small.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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