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Friday, September 29, 2006

The Romani Inn Revisted

the owner of the Romani Inn
dips the end of her cigar
in some red table wine, lips
suck the sweet aromatic Catalan
off the crisp-firm Havana's flesh,

lightning strikes a match's hiss,
and there begins a familiar burning -
a teasing inhale-exhale;
puffs of smoke that caress faithfully
as any well paid Cuban gigolo,

she spits a smile, flashing a
glint of light off dental gold,
and the nightly rituals begin:

guitars imported from Andalucia
and the flamenco wail
a eulogy of welcome to
woes, blunt instruments
in this haven of old urges,

a stopping place where
confirmed revellers
drown apologetically,
drinking sweet and feeling dry,
they've broken every vow
before she even approaches,

"Welcome to my tavern,
welcome to the Romani,"
she ushers in the usual guests,
becoming an invitation
to forget all far flung memory.

* * *

age is an offending shuffle
in her grandiose pose,
as she returns to a dark
head of hard bread left
to soften in less than virgin oil,

but time hung on the wall
catches her eye, before she
goes back to her dying
fire in a terracotta ashtray,
she stares for a moment

at the mouldy, sickly-sepia
photographs of a young girl
among rushing waterfalls,

her eyes browse the images,
counting capsized cargoes
as the heaving room fills with
similar secrets succumbing
to a slumberdeath,

and she tries to calculate
in a sigh how much wealth
she's lost from there to here,
but realises her tear ducts
are far to old too cry,

"Welcome to my tavern,
welcome to the Romani,"
she ushers in her usual guests,
becoming an invitation
to forget such far flung memory.

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