AFTER CACHAO'S "A
FRANCISQUITA LE GUSTA EL CUSUBÉ"
The hands of the tumba player are
doves, dark and melodic
in their slap-dash against the pellejo de chivo, tumbadoras
majicas, “rompelo que ya están pagá!” Francisquita’s hips
swaying to “suabana, suabana, suabana.” In this land so close
to that island, el cocodrilo encendido, the gods of rhythm
are at play, beating gourds, tambores, and bongó. The flute
soars into the azure heavens, hangs there like a cotorra
in flight. It whispers “free” into the wind. Soon, soon, soon.
Liberty comes to those who’ve been dancing all this time,
dancing to forget. Among the rubble, el escombro, descarga
in exile, how the music fills this room, that one, echoes
down the street to the beach, floats over the water’s surface,
crested waves roiling back to the beginning of their sound.
Cachao, bassist king, close your eyes and take us back, sueña, sueña,