chagall backdrop
She said her name was Dominga Samba,
a Castilian, her family went way back,
the sixth century, Kingdom of León,
after the Romans, the time of the Moors.

She spoke this lispy, crazy Portuguese,
sprinkled with what she called Mozarabic.

I mainly listened to her eyes and lips,
and the tight geometry of her curves.

She danced to pachanga like a Cuban,
Galician spirits moved her, she swooned,
head thrown back, knees akimbo, she’d mambo,
son montuno, like the natives used to.

She’d rise, make love astride like a goddess,
hypnotic, offbeat lunges, then circles,
lightly, hovering, just barely touching,
interlocked rhythms, deep and full glides home.

She was rapping time on my cencerro,
would have made Arsenio Rodriquez proud.

I think of her now almost every night,
she has since moved back to Salamanca.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013