To dance or sleep in Buenos Aires—

either one, he said, is better than sex,

and I believed because of his expertise

in the game of backgammon. Sat between decks

of cards, he once beat a man who knew Castro.

He told me so beneath a black umbrella’s yawn

one wet October night. I believed him because he knows

the luxuries of bus tickets and backseats, Don

Juan and Madame Bovary, worn, withdrawn

from libraries. I believed when he told how he’d worn

his grandfather’s wedding band on his own

hand, told the others her name was Lolita, swore

he found her on the streets of Buenos Aires, new

and wide-eyed then, and even she’d believed him too.