Son Cubano

We are at the genesis of a bolero
eyes, lips, thick, kinky dreads
beds, cars, stars
a singer's words curve
through memory and shadow
rhythms stumble and stop,
come again, the night air a willing audience.
men huddle near a long, brass bar rail,
shoes gleaming, lips smiling, eyes lit
as women, young and old, stroll pass them
on their way to the powder room
las mujeres motion a dream of sand and waves
a Cuba that only the restaurant owner
and his waiters may have truly seen, heard.
late winter, rains slicking the streets of lower Manhattan,
Son Cubano's portals reveal a theater of nostalgia
the scent of Havana scripts so well.
And we play along
mouths flavored with rum, lime, sugar, our tongues playing
the kisses stolen game as the song phrases
a fierce sadness promised
in the wake of lust's mercurial ascent
We flee these orchestrated memories
our hands in each others, our mouths hungry for each other.
Our song is bluer, harsher, North American
the rhythms African, yes, as dearly measured in drama and depth.
Our exile is internal. There is little longing
for the good old days when Havana was a mean place
for dark people, but a real fascination
for these songs and their makers.
Your arms cascade a trumpet solo, the piano's
harmonics thrill my back.
My lips are waiting for yours.
This is our bolero
lovemaking Friday night New York City
Everybody's exotic.
Everybody's from the South.