That year I saw 3, maybe 4 great men.
I don't recall what pearls they had to drop,
what they looked like, the timbre of their voices
or suits. I talked once, maybe for 3 minutes,
to a lapis-eyed blonde who didn't know my name.
I knew hers, remember every word,
and have concocted several dozen lives
of swift conclusion. All end up inside
her. At 2 a.m. at the Rockybilt counter,
hard and bright as a Hopper, I could drink
coffee, mop up secret sauce, and wonder
how anyone had ever finished James,
if Strether would find Bohemia in Paris,
whether he'd "live" and why anybody cared.