Outside of the Cemetery City, Buenos Aires

Men drinking matte
the few invisible Indians
sat on the steps of a crypt.
A man walks in
as we are walking out.
Perhaps five foot six
in a Lacoste Alligator shirt
(for Rene is also dead)
and slows to a stiff walk
to cross himself 
(and his alligator)
in a blind-eyed mechanical
(maniacal?) motion
of the seer
or the fundamentally sad.

Outside the walls
the city of stones
the houses of the dead just resting
a wrinkled woman
the size of a fallen leaf
sits in a doorway
only her hand extended.
I passed and returned
with fifty pesos for her
as the grandmother 
or soul or self
that she was. Is. 

Coming down to the bar
two in sneakers
tangoed on the cement floor
as though shop girls, boys
stopped in middle age
and struck again by the feet of their youth 

Along further
a blind young woman
perhaps 18 or so
stood with her cane
tidily dressed in lime green
as another woman
unnervingly normal
in a haircut and a middle-aged suit
asked politely on the blind girl’s behalf.

As this took place
where the tarot readers normally wait
I imagined her Spanish
to be of second sight
in place of first
and the truths therein available.
Having thought already
as we walked the cemeteries
little strewn streets
of the sisters in Don’t Look Now
the appearance of their soul and symbol
twins just here completed the circle
of our eerie understanding.
Just imagine the place in rain.

 

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