Saying Goodbye To Matthea Harvey - Poem by Bernard Henrie
I remember trilling grasshoppers
on a terrace, a sentimental visit
to offices of Botteghe Oscure
my fathers first publisher, the second
story landing, the mildewed boxes
of magazines in humid air, frail dust;
but memory is a losing game.
In the hotel lobby, a Quetzal opens
slick wet wings, gold and green
in drab water;
Rome stirs the dead heart of Lazarus,
blistered, patched and exquisite.
Gold pilasters, pink nymphs painted
on the vaulted ceiling, olive oil
glimmers on the sideboard,
sotte voce as restaurants change
to dinner menus. We drink an Armagnac
that throbs and clings to the tongue;
a slouch Borsalino, a buttoned cloak
for the damp palazzo.
Did your calf-skin glove wave goodbye
to me or the unseasonable weather?
The doors of the airport bus open
(accordion like) , bringing mold scented
leaves, dirty and badly branded
by Texas cattlemen;
the autumn whirlwind
a bandana at your head.
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