Facing a Street in Geneva

My feet step onto the Golden Cross between Buenos Aires and Río,
Here I have seen every season: I have given chase to spring,
I have clutched the rich warmth of autumn’s first marrons,
Turned my frozen collar up to the fierce and wild Western Wind,
And I have walked in the summer haze as one can walk only in summer:
With the leisure of walking on a warm and care-free day.
Perhaps I have not taken this street for many years,
Perhaps I never left, but it does not matter much;
Things have a habit of staying the same here like a river flowing.
For here I have heard every language that ever existed,
I have heard music from the heart of every continent,
And have seen every face that ever existed in the flesh.
If I were to turn here I would see my brother and I;
Here, and I would become an alleyway or a window sill;
Here again, and I would embrace one whose cuffs were of fur
Who I greeted like an old lover although she is now my sister.
If I were to continue I would meet the threshold of my youth
And it may be that the beauty of the memories would cripple me.
If I turned around I would be drowned by the beauty of a winding river,
Lost in the maze of ageless maples standing in salute
Like soldiers in a single, straight and formidable row,
Or become marble and arabesque echoing a single, haunting call.
But if I stay on this street, it may be that I could become
The rich musk of tabacco in Davidoff’s shop
Or the wild shout in several tongues of untamed youth
Or the gaping smile on the alligator of a Lacoste hat.
And if I turn this corner I could become the cool chirp of a fountain
Or the melody of a guitar playing Barrios and Piazzolla
Or the weight of proud and mighty cannons long silenced
Or the simple rustle of chestnut trees letting down their shivering hair
In the pale blush of the gentle sky at dusk.
And in that gentle Genevan sky a single bird,
Perhaps a hawk, a sparrow, a twittering swallow
Gathers a single twig back to its nest.

This entry was posted in Other.

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