N O V E M B E R 1 9 9 9
SMALL AIRPORT IN BRAZILby Lloyd Schwartz
Hear Lloyd Schwartz read this poem (in RealAudio).
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9:31 in the departure lounge, nearly
deserted. Monday night -- everyone here
is a little too tired to be traveling
behind the newspapers, and light on
maybe 31? -- slim and well-dressed (that is,
jacket and pressed gray pants in muted
open at the collar (no tie, though there may
They fit him elegantly, suit him, suit
fair skin. His rimless glasses suggest
confirmed by the forward gaze behind them --
He wears a touchingly simple
of natural elegance -- his wife must
Is he on his way to her? Is she picking him up
warmly, gracefully, when he arrives?
on the table? Or not -- already asleep
Or is he on his way to yet another hotel,
-- tired of hotels; while his attractive,
and slightly sunken cheeks,
spending so many nights alone.
They'll cost something, these nights.
your way through the world --
or just beginning
Lloyd Schwartz is the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He received the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1994, for articles on classical music that appeared in The Boston Phoenix.
Copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; November 1999; Small Airport in Brazil; Volume 284, No. 5; page 98.