main | Vacant room | Dawning | Butcher shop | Simplicity | Farewell | Dulcia Linquimus Arva | Last sun in Villa Ortúzar | Mythical founding of Buenos Aires | Deathwatch on the Southside | Buenos Aires Deaths | Chess | Quatrain | Cyclical Night | A thirteenth-century poet | Susana Soca | Camden, 1892 | A Northside knife | Milonga of Albornoz | New England, 1967 | The labyrinth | Invocation to Joyce | Tankas | Susana Bombal | Things | Menaced | You | Poem of quantity | The sentinel | To the German language | 1891 | Hengist asks for men, A.D. 449 | Browning poet resolves to be | Suicide | I am | Fifteen coins | Blind man | 1972 | Elegy | The exile (1977) | In memory of Angelica | My books | Talismans | The white deer | The profound rose | Mexico | Herman Melville | To Johannes Brahms | Baruch Spinoza | Alhambra | Music box | Adam is your ashes | On acquiring an encyclopedia | Nostalgia for the present | The accomplice | Shinto | The cipher | My last tiger | The cypress leaves | The weft
I just glimpse and lose
Correct black suit
narrow brow, sparse mustache,
on his way through the crowd in the evening
within himself looking at nobody.
At the corner of Piedras
he has a drink. Habit.
Someone shouts goodbye. No answer.
Old hate in his eyes.
Another block. A bit of milonga
reaches him from a yard. Cheap guitars
are always grinding his patience,
but his walk sways unnoticed.
His hand lifts to feel the firm
handle of the dagger in his vest.
Off to collect a debt. Not much more.
Some steps and he pauses.
In the passageway there's a blooming thistle.
A bucket bumps the cistern
and he hears a well-known voice.
The door is open
as if he was awaited. Tonight
perhaps he will have died.