Brazil v Chile: 2010 FIFA World Cup - Round of Sixteen

Letter to a Botanist

with apologies to Seamus Heaney (cf. “The Gaeltacht”)

I wish that Hirsh and I could visit you

down in Brazil, with Ballgame and Hitzrot, and that Trevor

would come too. But there’s never

time, Hirsh has a kid now, and Ballgame is always at work.

We could get Hitzrot, if we got the others. And when

is the last time anybody talked to Trevor? In this

cafe I have to be subdued. I’m alone, I know

no one, they’re all on their laptops, even the ones

whose girlfriends want to talk. So I

behave, sit still, drink my cold coffee, look

at my book. But it would be great if we could all

meet you on the beach and drink caipirinhas

or play stickball with some kids in Curitiba

or— wait, I’ve got it— get tickets to the

Mundial, cheer for the national team, dance

samba in the stands, the six of us together

riding the waves of yellow, green, and blue.