‘W8 7LN’ by U.S. Dhuga

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Side A

When I drew my hip-flask from my suit-jacket,
out fell a slip of paper,
folded into fourths, half-torn up the centre
crease–a fragmentary cigarette packet
palimpsest with your ancient blue phone number
whiskey-stained and whiskey-stuck to the pewter
flask.  The obverse, as if I never knew,
screamed CIGARETTES CAN KILL YOU.

Side B

Perched on a bench in Wandsworth scratching
postcards purchased not for sending,
inside the ticket-pocket of my topcoat
I found the pouch of lavender she’d hoped
would bring me hope.  I can smell it still,
the browning purple spilling almost stale
from careless stitches stitched without
a care for lasting.  I’ve bought a ticket
to the Cotswolds.  I’m leaving you,
Tooting Bec, for the Thatcher’s art in Great Tew.

Sleevenotes

U. S. Dhuga earned his PhD, MPhil, and MA in Classical Philology at Columbia University (2006), after graduating from Amherst College (2001) and Harrow (1997).  He is presently Professor of Classics at Calvin College in Michigan.  His book, Choral Identity and the Chorus of Elders in Greek Tragedy, was published in 2011 through Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies. Raised in North London, U. S. Dhuga lives across and in between New York, Michigan, Toronto, London, and New Delhi.  Dhuga is Founder, Publisher, and Managing Editor of The Battersea Review–an international poetry quarterly spanning poets from over 20 nationalities, which can be accessed at thebatterseareview.com and batterseareview.com

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