WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND by Alexis Rotella

 

Without the streets or dusks of Buenos Aires,
a tango cannot be written – Jorge Luis Borges

 

I never met my unmarried aunt, Theodora, one of the great tango dancers of Buenos Aires as well as a socialite who threw parties for artists of all persuasions. She passed away young as did her younger brother, Antonio, an art collector. Together they sailed the Graceliner to New York just to shop. His latest acquisition was an Utrillo that sold for an unspeakable amount.

 

Who would I have been
had I not been
distracted by foreign men?

 

Because of Theodora, I studied improvisational tango, even traveled there with a friend to buy the proper shoes and dresses that float freely, but life got in the way and those things are somewhere in this apartment along with 10,000 other “must haves.”

 

The tree outside my window
how it lets go
one leaf at a time

 

My aunt’s portrait is in my closet somewhere in a box, along with her bed linens, silk peignoirs and delicate undies, a floor-length dressing gown with lace tatted at the cuffs, containers which once held French perfumes and cobalt blue bottles of orange- and rose water colognes, and should I ever be in dire need of money, a Tiffany silverware place setting for 24 would fetch a handsome sum.

 

No children
to pass things on to
another spring

 


 

Photo used under CC