Post Road Magazine #21

Decision

Norman Finkelstein

You have only to choose, said the guide,

benign and patient, but eager to set out.


The nights, the days spent waiting,

napping or in a sort of fugue—that's over.


No more curios, said the guide,

little gods carved from rosewood,


No more faded posters, costume jewelry,

miniatures of doubtful provenance.


The search for the magic number

among the prosodists and Pythagoreans—


that's over too, said he. No more

startled looks and backward glances,


no more lingering in cafes or gardens

or shops along the boulevard.


The chess tournament is canceled,

the piano lessons are on hold.


What to do about the orphans,

what to do about the strays in the alleys—


You can think about them later, said the guide,

wiping his brow, replacing his cap,


You can think about them in the limo

or after boarding the train. But you must


decide for the sake of whatever you love,

whatever it is you still would cherish.


Here is the formula. Here is the program.

Here is the talisman. Here is the code.

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