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The weft

Which of my cities will I die in?
In Geneva, where I had the revelation
not of Calvin, but of Virgil
and Tacitus?
In Montevideo, where Luis Melián
Lafinur, blind and heavy with years, died
amongst the archives of that impartial
history of Uruguay he would not write
In Nara, where in a Japanese guesthouse
I slept on the floor and dreamed the terrible
image of Buddha, which I had touched and not
seen, but saw in my dream?
In Buenos Aires, where I am nearly a
foreigner, given my years, or a
custom of people who ask me for an
In Austin, Texas, where my mother and I,
in the autumn of 1961, discovered America?
Others will know and forget it.
In what language shall I die? In the
Spanish used by my elders to
lead a charge or play at
The English of that Bible my
grandmother read the desert fronting?
Others will know and forget it.
What time will it be?
Twilight of the dove, when
no colors are yet, twilight of the
crow, when night refines and
abstracts visible things, or the trivial hour,
two in the afternoon?
Others will know and forget it.
These questions are not digressions from
fear, but from impatient hope.
They are part of the fatal weft of cause and effect,
which no man may
predict, perhaps no god.