Oarsman, Rio de la Plata

There’s nothing new under the Golden Star. If you did not exist
in my space/time coordinates, I would have invented you, spirited
from that Sunday afternoon in the Zócalo when you sang
your poems and I caught you afterwards at the lip of the stage
to tell the story of how I wrote I would meet my death
in Montevideo, and you an ambassador of that not-so-visible
city, fogged and eeled, Rio de la Plata ahead, a sea of lamentations,
bodies dropped from aero-planes. But we never stopped to discuss

the public history of Uruguay and its blue and white jerseyed
neighbor. We became too busy with word play and sniffing after
game, vapor rising from the maté we have yet to sip together
because we have never shared that mythical city at the same time–
for obvious reasons, my wish to stave off the Reaper, your post
as permanent ambassador in College Station, from where
you write secret histories of that misty country which waits
for us with all deliberate and inexorable patience.