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.