Poetry: Incident in the Gandhi Bookshop Café, Avenida Corrientes | clivejames.com
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Incident in the Gandhi Bookshop Café, Avenida Corrientes

They were all dying for her,
But they died bravely, they died well.
It was well done.
I was proud to join them.
We all went over the waterfall together.
We fell together.
The world fell together.
For a sacred moment it was all one,
And then she was gone.

Briefly she had sat there
Making notes to mark her progress
Through the labyrinths of Borges —
Something in her manner
Discouraged offers of help —
And then she looked at her watch.
Did she have a lover somewhere
Or perhaps a tango class?
Imagine being the maestro
Against whom she leans
In a tensile puente.

Deep breasted, long legged,
Silk skinned,
She was the kind of beauty
Who makes every poet
Wish he were a painter,
So as to say:
“Take off your clothes:
I need the essence of you.”

Old poets who try that
Get themselves arrested,
Whereas painters never fail,
Until the day they drop,
To score with the girl of fine family
And the perfect behind.

Having paid her bill,
She stood up and was swept away
On a wave of sighs
As we all shared the light in our eyes,
Our hearts bleeding,
Before going back to the books
We were writing and reading —
Back to the usual macho shit
Which is all there is
When you get down to it,

Out of the cloud
Into which the angel
Having blessed us once
With the holy presence
Of her good looks:

Eternity compressed
Into once sweet minute.
She was out of this world
And we are in it.

Now we must begin again.
Poor us. Poor men.
The waterfall:
It was our tears.