"La Lupe" By Victor Hernandez-Cruz

Her voice comes out of her knees, her fingernails are full of sound, Birds are in her lungs, which gives her gargantuan flight, A florescence through ether waves, like ancestral Morse codes. Oriente province de Cuba her first steps. At nineteen she dismantled retinas-- roosters blew themselves inside out, When she swayed by cathedrals they folded, guayacan trees fell to their knees, Moutains bowed with the contents for ajiaco. She filled the horizon with kerchiefs, gypsies danced behind her, Her bacelets were snakes, forces were captured in her gold chains, The moon was in her silver, there wre reptiles, stationed in her Afro-Siboney cheeks, there were in her Asian eyes Radars picking up the fingertips of the paino player-- The language of the trumpet-- black changos landing upon the shelf of her eyelids. She motioned in songs to live them. Her passion destroyed the container, She blew up into false promises, romantic lyrics tied her in knots, Broken into pieces of kisses, she knew it was "theater" That you offered, A landscape hanging in the museums of desire, Rows of guayava paste, stories that according To your point of view, salons of dried roses. Illusions. Her songs became the windows of the city, In the distance a hurt bellows from a bird locked in a radio. Classroom teacher of tropical children, reading to them native flora-- A wind entered her and she flew to New York, eating the skyline, Bridges of electric lights, conduits to the house of the Saints. At the Jefferson Theater she melted the microphone Into liquid mercury, and an ambulance had to Get her off the stage. She embodied in gowns, capes, dresses, necklaces, bonnets, Velevets, suedes, diamond-studded, flowers, sequincs, All through which she wanted to eat herself She salvaged us all, but took the radiation. Each time she sang she crossed the sea. From the Bronx she went back to Cuba, Adrift on the sails of a song.