Music, In A Foreign Language by Andrew Crumey
In a cafe, once more I heard
Your voice - those sparse and frugal notes.
Do they not say that you spoke your native Greek
With an English accent?
Briefest of visions: eyes meet across the cafe;
A man of about my age - eyelids heavy,
Perhaps from recent pleasures.
I begin the most innocent of conversations.
Again I see that image;
Ancient delight of flesh
Against guiltless flesh.
Sweeter still, in its remembering.
Most innocent of conversations: once more, I am mistaken.
He leaves; the moment lost - and to forego
The squalor of this place, I read again your lines; those sparse and frugal notes.
In a taverna, you found beauty, long ago.
And when you draw, with your slim, swift pen
The image of that memory - time's patient hostage;
Then how can I forget him, that boy whom you could not forget,
Or that music, in a foreign language?