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Light the pursuer, dark the pursued.

Light wants to fill dark with itself

and have it still be dark

so light can still be filling it.

Light pours from the massive shining of the chandelier

over the bronze boy bending beneath it

to the bronze pool where a watery face

is rising to meet his as he bends.

Light the pursuer, dark the pursued,

along the naked back and arms,

the hands, the fingers reaching

for the rippling features, just

beyond, just out of the grasp of

into and out of, and across

the marble floor and pillars,

to the tips of leaves, and up

the lion claws of chair legs and sofas and

over the glass tops of tables in the lounge,

light losing dark by catching it,

dark giving light the slip by being caught,

on elevator doors, down every

blazing hallway to the highest floor,

the farthest room, and through it

beyond the pulsing colors of the muted screen,

from hip to hip in a loose twilight

of sheets no longer shifting.

Hotel Lobby

Alan Shapiro

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translated from the Spanish written by
Homero Aridjis