Small and observant,
this girl child already loves her solitude.
Dark eyes taking in everything for much later,
long hair a little mussed-up, tumbling over feet pyjamas,
she stands quietly in the doorway of her little bedroom.
Across old parquet floors, into spare white rooms
she gazes at the grown-ups in their party clothes,
secretly planning that someday she will be one of them.
Plain white origami birds, suspended from the high
vintage ceilings, hand-made from her poet-mother's
typing paper, are the only decorations.
The soft, indirect lighting, all invented by her father
out of simple things, creates a perfect visual tone.
This quiet inventor has also chosen jazz he loves
to animate the evening for his friends.
These grown-ups in their party clothes,
yellows, greens and reds, puffy skirts, stiletto heels,
men in simple suits, white shirts, thin black ties,
talented painters, holocaust survivors, intellectuals,
talking, laughing, smoking too much, martini glasses in hand.
What stayed with her most was the music, and the way
it brought the whole world right to her.
Jazz from here in her native city,
Soft, sultry Bossa Nova that her soul knew even better.
Only some of what she saw that night became the life she chose.
The intimacy of observing, of silently forming words around
what she saw, talking and laughing with friends,
loving passionately, getting scorched to the bone,
and the music, the music....
The music would always stay with her, leading her across
wide expanses of this beautiful old world
to the parts of it that she would someday taste, and see.
Her life would become the stretching wide open of her heart.
To love it all, to write about it all.
to give this back, someday,
to the music, and to this big, beautiful old world.
©Elisa Maria Argiro