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9 March 2015

“Designer at the Cafe”: a new poem from Paula Bohince

By Paula Bohince

Squat and plummy, in small round spectacles, it’s easy
to see him young, a piggy, teased for his odd body, drawing
in the back of class, a bedroom, the gown’s
flounces and slashes, as counterbalance, why else
strive for beauty if manor-born to it? Inflated
as a balloon, or cartoon pie-eater, an isthmus cloud rolls by
as he sips Springtime pastis, the licorice a childhood taste
that never leaves, like rage that never retreats, is only
costumed, or made civilized, as a taxidermied leopard leans
in the window, shadowing a saucer piled with euros.

Paula Bohince is the author of two poetry collections, both published by Sarabande – Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods (2008) and The Children (2012). She lives in Pennsylvania.

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This article appears in the 04 Mar 2015 issue of the New Statesman, How Islamic is Islamic State?