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Old 07-19-2017, 10:56 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Plum Island, MA; Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 10,646


I saw the Brazilian Olympic team strut and sashay into Meiji Stadium
.....Tokyo, 1964, opening ceremony.
My friend Klaus in the outside row,
two years running, world champion, Flying Dutchman class,
here as the favorite with a brand new fast new boat,
windmilled both arms over his head,
threw kisses to the crowd,
sang the anthem aloud like a big rube.
Stumbling to a samba beat,
he pawed at his eyes with huge sailorís hands.

I am the most Brazilian on the team.
It was me who decided to be a Brazilian.
I sailed twice around the world, and when I came here
I saw the mountains touch the sea,
and the brown and gold girls on the white beaches.
I ate shrimp cooked with lemon juice and coconut milk
in a straw hut on Praia do Salvador,
and I heard the laughter
and the music.
When I came here I stayed.

When the new boat broke apart in an early round, he
left the Olympic Village,
moved into our four-tatami guest room.
We could hear him weeping every night,
as he did his push-ups, sit-ups, crunches.

He skipped the closing ceremony
where the drunken young athletes of the world broke
ranks, jumped fences, cartwheeled across the field,
picked up the Japanese flag bearer and
carried him around the stadium,
tried to kiss every woman on the Japanese team;
removed and exchanged
clothing, embraced each other, invited spectators to join them,
refused to end the Games
as the loudspeakers repeated:
Will the athletes please march in ranks
Will the athletes please follow their nationís flags

in five languages.

I saw the Brazilian Olympic team
parade down Avenida Presidente Vargas
at midnight at Carnaval,
covered with gilt paint, feathers, rhinestones, mirrors.
Someone was hitting a hubcap with a little hammer;
they had flutes, whistles, bells, sticks, rattles;
one girl was bare-breasted, twirling in a half slip,
a light-skinned man shook a gourd with pebbles.
A few wore huge dildos and threatened the crowd with them.
Stones on Coke bottles, drums, singing;
.....Cidade maravilhosa
tens of thousands of team members
streaming down from the Rio favellas
.....Coracao do meu Brasil
to dance half naked in the streets.

I have the most beautiful woman in Botafogo
sings the taxi driver.
Sunday, I will go to the beach and meet another.
Then I will have the two most beautiful women.
I will call them both Patricia.

The Brazilian Olympic team stretches concrete arms on a hill above Rio;
eagles perch on its finger tips and scream at the new sun.
I must take Klaus here.
We will drink cachaca, and fly like eagles to the sea,
and call it a closing ceremony.
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