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Luis Benitez

Luis Benitez

A Heron in Buenos Aires

The title poem of A Heron in Buenos Aires, Selected Poems, Ravenna Press ,New York 2011
English version by
Cooper Renner

Some brush drew a swift letter S
thin and white
above the chestnut water and there
unexpectedly was the heron,
the tourists did not see it
but it saw everything and everyone, swift
and motionless above the miracle of the water,
The mirror in the heart of the oblivious
city, in see-through paint,
the open buttonhole that fastened instantly
all the clothes winter put on.
It stayed on the fatal bank of her own Amazon,
the disdainful leg folded against its body,
as if to say my poise is made
from a perennial silhouette
and manner it does not recognize.
It was a patient harpoon mindful of nothing but weighing
the playful bellowing of the domesticated ducks,
it alone was as precise as a miniature scythe
in the Japanese Gardens that affably displayed its beauties
with that oriental serenity that knows nothing
about the abrupt murders of a hungry heron.
They all went away but I too saw nothing:
I thought I blinked only for a second;
only one bloody moment skipped past,
but when the heron flew away
its life was not the only one missing from the pond.

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