The old cowherd isn’t disjoint – he is urbanization.
The young vaquero isn’t arrogant – he is merely wracked
by the vending machine’s neon masquerade
closed into its shallow bowels, valued at fifty cents.
Naturalemente, es normal
he dances, brashes
the calculated footsteps of his grandpa before him
two movements of men
is the beautiful maiden,
A quiet midnight of ducks,
a symphony of frogs on the glass. No one betrays
her escape. Maquillaged
in the tulip-smashed cream of a clown’s pie-hole
she mimes freedom, though no one
sees her run to the forest’s heart, the broken
carousel someone never came back for. Gives it a spin.
In the fright of neon that glissandos into motion
in the vertigo of golden mares
you can see her transformation.
But which is the real –
and which the cursed –
and is it, finally, a maiden at all? Split
not between two movements of men
but between the teeth of day
and night’s curling tongue
she is to be envied; torn maiden
worries not one moment
over one man’s movement
or multiplication. But naturalmente
Note: This poem is based on a particular performance of the piano piece Tres Danzas Argentinas, Opus 2, composed by Alberto Ginastera and performed tonight by Dr. Albert Kim at Linfield College. If you ever have a chance to hear him perform, do.
Image credits in order of appearance:
By Museo de Arte Popular, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15742220
By AmbarCCPM – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36661768