What’s jazz got to do with it?
The sun had written the smell of winter
on his silent face,
while the birds outside his window
sang receiving the nightfall;
his room was filled with Miles’s jazz:
blues and melancholic music
keeping company to his inert thighs,
the sound of loneliness trapping his sleepy eyes;
she came dressed to erase all the shadows
that kept his fingers tied to the past,
smelling of coconut
like the landscape from the south;
curled into his arms she breathed unto his mouth
the warmth of her naked desires,
letting the time pass byas careless as a playing child;
and then she left
retracing her steps back to more than a mile,
leaving her smell behind
and promising not to return to his arms.
To the 2 worlds
we waited without confessing the wait,
she would smile
like a river opens its mysteries
to thirsty travelers,
and I would simply acknowledge her distance
by fictionalizing the rubbing of her thighs;
time gave us the reason not to be apart:
the smell of mint
and cinnamon candles,
there was no interference,
only the sensuous notes
of the song we danced slithered between us
as my skin caressed her skin
and my eyes dived into her eyes
searching for the same lullabies.
Another New York state of mind
Here, I say, is my proof:
this silence goes beyond
the absence of words,
way past my muted lips…
memory makes me reinvent her voice
deep inside my ears
when thunder announces
the coming of a lonely night.
Bridges tremble as you pass
dancing your happiness to the park,
under the same sky fitted with clouds
like a serene lake covered by winter white;
you follow the vines,
the leafless branches that one day would die
knowing the joy gravitating between your arms
as body and soul come together in the same dance;
bridges won’t be bridges,
it’s so easy to foresee the future of handrails,
wooden arches and metal bars
when the power of your happiness
makes the structures shaky as you pass:
bridges won’t be bridges,
they’ll fall silent like tired stars.
All poems © Dió-genes Abréu, published with permission.
About the poet:
Dió-genes Abréu, was born in Miches, Dominican Republic, in 1959. He resides in New York since 1983. He studied art in the National School of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo, the State University of New York (SUNY), and got an MFA from City College. In addition to being an artist, Abréu is also a writer and photographer. He has published the following poetry books: POEMS FOR THE LIVING, 1983; FOR WOMEN WITHOUT MAKE-UP, 1985; Some of his short stories and poems have been published in English, Japanese, and Spanish in some compilations and anthologies.
His artwork has been exhibited in national as well as international galleries and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in the Dominican Republic, The New Museum for Contemporary Art in New York, the Queens Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Tokyo, Japan. Abréu also worked in theater for more than eight years in his native country and in New York City. In 1998 he won the first prize in the V Short Stories Contest organized by Radio Santa María in the República Dominicana. Was a founding member of Palabra: Expresión Cultural (PEC), a writers’ group dedicated to the development and promotion of Dominican culture in the US. In 2004 he published his book PEREJIL, el ocaso de la “hispanidad” dominicana, a book about Dominican culture and identity viewed from the perspective of the Dominican immigration experience. In 2005, he published A PESAR DEL NAUFRAGIO, violencia doméstica y el ejercicio del poder, a book about domestic violence that includes the testimonies of two Dominican women from Washington Heights. His more recent books include: Engañifas, discurso y práctica social, a critical analysis of the intellectual discourse and social actions of several prominent Dominican personalities, published in 2007. La Jom Atenda (2011), a theater play winner of the Letras de Ultramar Prize, organized by the Dominican Cultural Commissioner in EU. In 2013, he again won the same prize with his book of essays Sin haitianidad no hay Dominicanidad.