THE LAST FANDANGO
I never had a nickname as a child
But wanted one so badly
I would dress up in outlandish clothes
To go strolling around town.
I tried to approximate the look
And piety of a shepherd once
Wandering into a pizza-parlor
With my staff and headwear
But I could not resist using the stick
To collar a couple of kids
Who tried to steal the show.
No one likes a violent shepherd.
But that was me—all shuck and jive
And no place to holler.
I used to dance alone until
The music finally caught me
Arm in arm at the edge
Of the Pampas with a woman who
Spoke to me the way
Seasons will turn on themselves:
One day you wake-up and the leaves are gone.
I like to dance.
Funny how the gist unravels itself
But I was saying about
Meeting people that sometimes
You introduce yourself to a beautiful woman
And end up dancing underneath a changeling sky—
Outrageous purples and I do not mind
Saying vermilion skies
And dancing like to fill the mute promise
Of a Singer-Sargent painting.
Just flying away.
There you go.
There it is in the lexicon,
There it is. And it might have
Been Santa Fe or Montevideo
But it was neither,
Hell, I have trouble making
Eye contact with the bus driver sometimes
Because I have been some places too long
And I have only spoken of others
Like the friend of a friend.
The point is that it might have been Valparaiso
But that was my Fandango,
My sage-brushed breeze and desert-circus twilight.
Some hair is black enough to last forever
And some dances have rhythms
Put in motion by stars.
Hands touch you and you know
The answer already:
The turn of a hip
The flat of a palm against your back.
One foot just follows the other.
Well, you can watch
With your eyes peeled in the dark
And you can listen until your ears bleed sermons
But I will tell you what,
There is a Fandango being danced
At the edge of the Pampas
And no one is asking names.