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“Dream Song 34” by John Berryman (1914 – 1972)
My mother has your shotgun. One man, wide
in the mind, and tendoned like a grizzly, pried
to his trigger-digit, pal.
He should not have done that, but, I guess,
he didn’t feel the best, Sister,—felt less
and more about less than us …?
Now—tell me, my love, if you recall
the dove light after dawn at the island and all—
here is the story, Jack:
he verbed for forty years, very enough,
& shot & buckt—and, baby, there was of
schist but small there (some).
Why should I tell a truth? when in the crack
of the dooming & emptying news I did hold back—
in the taxi too, sick—
silent—it’s so I broke down here, in his mind
whose sire as mine one same way—I refuse,
hoping the guy go home.