Una Noche de Salsa

Una Noche de Salsa

Nathalie Handal


The night is covered with salsa tunes and blood transfusions,

with Willie Colon's "Asia" and bullets lodged in walls,

gunshots, one after another, nothing new

when in the company of those selling death.

What better sales- "your dinero" and "your life"

for some marijuana, some perico, an overdose.

The night is furious, people's hands on their heads,

screaming, no one forgets the dead

screaming, we forget to love, drink una limonada,

forget to give un abrazo to our amorcito

to tell una historia to our ni–os.

Colon sings to us, tells us the story of AIDS

and empty hospital rooms-

no visitors, too ashamed,

sings to us the stories of the streets of hell

and the killing darkness in parts of the Bronx.


The night is covered with the trumpet's fury

echoing, now we see, now slowly we must go

now how do we leave

and I question:

were we happy once and didn't know.