Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Lime and Rum

His guayabera hung cool and loose as he spun her to “Santiago de Cuba” on the jukebox. The cinderblock walls were painted aqua and cornflower yellow. The roof was thatched. They were sweeping each other off their feet, likely to finish the night at her place, or his.

A breeze came off the bay, making the oil lamps flutter. She tasted of rum, and he of limes. His hand cupped the small of her back as he dipped her to Benny Moré's piano guajeo and she laughed. 

His hands were large and not soft. They first appeared soiled, but his fingers were stained not by earth, but with ink. As he turned her across the dance floor, the lamplight reflected what seemed to be fine filaments of silver braided through the ink stains.

At the anvil, these would be the hands of the blacksmith. Holding a chisel or a brush, the hands of an artist. At the small of her back, the hand of a lover.

By the time the moon rose, the salsa had quieted and there was only the sound of the surf.