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
Deathwatch on the Southside
By reason of a death
the mystery whose vacant name I know and whose reality
we cannot grasp
a Southside house is open until dawn
unknown undestined for revisiting
but awaiting me tonight
with watchful light late when people sleep,
gaunt with bad nights, distinct,
minutial with reality.
To its vigil death-heavy I go
through streets like memories,
time's abundant night,
save vague men at a closed shop
and someone whistling alone in the world.
Slow walk, in the possession of hope,
to the block and house and sincere door I seek
and men receive me bound to be grave
who had a share in my elders' years,
and we weigh destinies in a habilitated room with a view of
under the power and integrity of night
and say, because reality is more, indifferent things
and listless are and Argentine in the mirror
and maté measures our vain hours.
Thin wisdom lost in death
I'm moved by
books, a key, a body among others
irrecoverable frequencies that for him
were friendship in this world.
I know all privilege, obscure however, is in the line of
and much this is to share this vigil,
gathered round one unknown: the Dead,
gathered to incommunicate or guard his first night in death.
(This wake wastes everyone's face;
our eyes die on high like Jesus.)
And the dead, the unbelievable?
His reality oddly beflowered
amd mortal hospitality give us
yet another memory for time
and sententious Southside streets to merit slowly
and an obscure breeze on my face turning
and night that from the greater anguish frees us:
the prolix real.