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Dream Song 29 by John Berryman



There sat down, once, a thing on Henry's heart so heavy, if he had a hundred years & more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time Henry could not make good. Starts again always in Henry's ears the little cough somewhere, an odour, a chime. And there is another thing he has in mind like a grave Sienese face a thousand years would fail to blur the still profiled reproach of. Ghastly, with open eyes, he attends, blind. All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears; thinking. But never did Henry, as he thought he did, end anyone and hacks her body up and hide the pieces, where they may be found. He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody's missing. Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up. Nobody is ever missing.

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