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Roy Jacobstein

Note to You from Kathmandu

In a far district, where every week

      Sherpas once conquered Everest,

                  recalcitrant Maoists are assaulting


another police barracks, just as here,

            despite the coils, the smoke, the rank

                        Jungle Cream, another tiny anopheline


has pierced the porous perimeter

            of my defenses. Thus in this milieu

                        of bullock cart and chakra, prayer


wheel and dust, of opaque white eyes,

            I will await the onset of the exquisite

                        ague, meditate until lysis commences


upon the fading graffito paint-sprayed

            on the flank of the Yak and Yeti Hotel:

                        Woman needs man like hawk needs rickshaw.


Roy Jacobstein's work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of venues including The Gettysburg Review, Parnassus, Poetry Daily, Threepenny Review and TriQuarterly. He received Prairie Schooner's 2003 "Reader's Choice" Award, and nominations for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Puschcart Prizes. His book, Ripe, a finalist for the Academy of American Poets' Walt Whitman Award, won the University of Wisconsin Press's 2002 Felix Pollak Prize. He is a physician working internationally in women's reproductive health, and divides his time between New York City and Chapel Hill, NC.

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