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Maggie's Meditation by John Beall, St. Mark's School of Texas "I know enough, I feel, never to be surprised.' —Prince Amerigo in The Golden Bowl Could not countenance my adultery? Might as well have worn no London rain, Clipped no conversation, formed no hesitation, Stilled pagoda's sweet silver bells, Amplified the family tone. He would brook ancestral graves No directed visitations, Nor swallow a divorce; No question in his mind— Epithalamion's clearest core. Would brook not even fondling flirtations, Foretaste of luscious lazy situations: The insinuated gifts, eyed moist bits Of louche muskmelon spooned to His mouth, as he stripped you with his tongue. Breasts brushed in long silent stares At Correggio Madonnas. Clothes left on after breakfast. Contemplation of children. Ghosts now; then their choice and purchase Of golden-flawed bowl bought with truepenny Sterling. Ghost marks on rough copy proofread And typed. Correctness the norm. Exact the proof. I pose, Prince, how sweet it fit, Being yours, your once-begloved wife. How one assumed those commands Quietly malingering like a bad monk's habit. Remembering these is rocking past Chelsea, No oarsman or oar. No reservations, no codicils Nor replications, and I'd have stocked The hamper with plump mangoes And honeysuckle wine. Instead, we wandered to a masterpiece And only eyed our Fête Champêtre. ...


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