Prompt for RWJ, Prompt 247

The thing about vintage stuff is that they die. I’m thinking about one of those old school coffeeshops that I’d go for dim sum and congee, and reading that it’d be closing end of the month. You know how it is. The people get old. There’s no one who’ll take over the business. So each generation that dies off carries off with it a trade that, if it doesn’t get passed on, die. It’s poignant really. Used to be that the generations passed it on. No longer. I really like my old coffeeshops.
In somewhat the same vein, I’m sharing with you a poem by an Argentinian poet called “The Future”.

And I know full well you won’t be there.
You won’t be in the street, in the hum that buzzes
from the arc lamps at night, nor in the gesture
of selecting from the menu, nor in the smile
that lightens people packed into the subway,
nor in the borrowed books, nor in the see-you-tomorrow.

You won’t be in my dreams,
in my words’ first destination,
nor will you be in a telephone number
or in the color of a pair of gloves or a blouse.
I’ll get angry, love, without it being on account of you,
and I’ll buy chocolates but not for you,
I’ll stop at the corner you’ll never come to,
and I’ll say that words that are said
and I’ll eat the things that are eaten
and I’ll dream the dreams that are dreamed
and I know full well you won’t be there,
nor here inside, in the prison where I will hold you,
nor there outside, in this river of streets and bridges.
You won’t be there at all, you won’t even be a memory,
and when I think of you I’ll be thinking a thought
that’s obscurely trying to recall you.

by Julio Cortazar, translated by Stephen Kessler

Hope you’re inspired to write something.


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