Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Postcard for the Album

These streets are made of domino slaps on wooden boards and diesel fuel
From irreverent motors wheezing up towards the old barrio they call Vietnam
And the same bachata song they’ve been playing till late all week
And the sleep of the dead
And the mangy old dog that hauls itself along and doesn’t chase the pickup trucks
Bearing gifts of freshly beheaded hens
But from the gutter barks its hoarse desire

A tyre on the ground marks the spot
And I’m learning again to make new friends
Out of the words I didn’t quite catch
Like the baseball OUT! I was supposed to deliver
And the tight-skin shiver of morning water from the rusty tap
And the sizzle of the outdoor pan
And the machete man and his sugarcane cart

Because these streets were constructed from all the spare parts
That make up the broke-down lives and histories I once knew
They were created by the stickiness of the self-same sun which hugs my shirtsleeves close
And slurs my tongue
And blurs the Polaroid perfections of all my recollections
Until you and me are here now dancing
Pega’ito outside some bodega or another where rum-soaked minds drink
The music of our dreams
And eat the tarmac of my silence.

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