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After Ten Years


Now that the sum of footsteps given you

to walk upon the earth has been fulfilled,

I say that you have died.  I too have died.

I, who recall the very night we made

our laughing, unaware farewells, I wonder

what on earth has become of those two young men

who sometime around 1957

would walk for hours, oblivious of the snow

that slashed around those street corners like knives

under the lamps of that midwestern town,

or sit in bars, talking about the women,

or decades later, stroll the perfumed streets

of Pasadena, talking about the meters.

Brother in the felicities of the Herberts,

George and Zbigniew, and of Chivas Regal,

and the warm rooms of the pentameter,

discoverer, as we all were in those days,

of that timeworn utensil, metaphor,

Henri, my tipsy, diffident old friend,

if only you were here to share with me

this empty dusk, however impossibly,

and help me to improve these lines of verse.


                                                        after Borges


Robert Mezey



From Collected Poems: 1952-1999, University of
Arkansas Press, 2000.  Reprinted by permission
of the author.

by Grapholina

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