Boston Review
CURRENT ISSUE
table of contents
FEATURES
new democracy forum
new fiction forum
poetry
fiction
film
archives
ABOUT US
masthead
mission
rave reviews
contests
writers’ guidelines
internships
advertising
SERVICES
bookstore locator
literary links
subscribe

 

Search this site or the web Powered by FreeFind


Site Web



 

Argentina

All night the cat will suckle from the chrome tub tap,
the drip tray overflow, the baptismal bowl
float money like algae. I have mistaken it
for the offering plate again. No worry.
Mistakes will be made. Nothing to offer
but an off-key croon by the silver draperies.
Nothing to accompany me but the four steps
my balls and soles remember from tap-dancing.

I will have to wonder who dislodged the walls last night,
what will hold fast without support beams,
where did I bury the motive, which will sizzle to explosion
at any moment? What did the freight train
say to me? Some crude whistle or cat call

after the coda of the clackety-clack, rumble, whine
through the shaft. Silver structures in a Jericho roar
crumbling, mineshafts for riches at once imploding,
ribcage epileptic, sudden aneurysm crumpling
through the hum-drum tip tap all night my tell-tale heart
piercing pondscum floating in water
with pennies thrown in the baptismal bowl
I’ve mistaken for the offering plate again.

Your memory mines for me in the night kitchen,
exploding canary bones, radio signal ravaged
with interference, whiskered antenna deaf to warning
signals when Argentina wails my name in the rain
on the mineshaft doorjamb, when I hear
through vacant walls the stage-shy prey
intending the last knife for my lung cage,
to scrape off metal from my ribs, scythe waterlilies,
semi-surfaced, half-adsorbed long longing,
prying planks, ripping floorboards,
mouthing the memory of glittering gone hours,
mumbling mistakes in my sleep again,
the chanting of the needle stuck gramophone: Argentina
are you missing me?

–Laura Hartmark



Copyright Boston Review, 1993–2005. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 | home | new democracy forum | fiction, film, poetry | archives | masthead | subscribe |