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Benjamin Gantcher

Up in a Miniature City

(versión en español)



The proprietress of the narrow caffè
sees the room behind the bar.
Sweeps and sees and sips Cynar.

Germans come like lonely cake,
touch the stones and gulp caffè.
They shrug inside the narrow bar.

The proprietress sips her green Cynar.
She counts five tables on the wall.
She sweeps the little passageway.

The Americans come like Saint Tropez.
They strike her with their How do you say...
and affection for the narrow bar

like a red light that slides across the stars.
Three legs a table. She counts the day’s take,
and wiping a cloudy stretch of the bar

she dreams she sets a solemn ceremony.
She greens their glasses with thick Cynar,
and down the line she lifts her drink.

See my tables. See my broom.
Hear the hard rag catch the zinc.
Lavender grows in the pot at the door.

At one the town shuts up and sleeps.
The proprietress wipes the scratchy bar.
She sips the green Cynar and sweeps.



Benjamin Gantcher 's poems have appeared and are forthcoming in several journals, including Archipelago, Grand Street, The Saint Ann's Review and Tin House. An essay, "Resurrecting the Essential: W. G. Sebald's Austerlitz," appeared in The Hyde Park Review of Books.



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