Margaret Randall :
VERSE | Tango

tango 2

Thumbs dance a graceful tango
as right moves left
and left right across keys
in deliberate journey.

I look at the pianist’s feet
upon the pedals,
automatic underpinning,
cellular memory.

I observe the energy rising
from his center
through perpendicular torso,
hands exploding impossible hope.

I search his eyes
Oblivious to mine
because they already inhabit
a timeless destination.

That destination’s sound
is loyal to a composer
dead before his birth.
The thumb tango lifts me

from my front-row seat,
pulls me into a forest
where black and white move faster
than the speed of gasping breaths

exploding from the lungs
of a patient in Kabul
still burning in her hospital bed
after the US strike.

Collateral damage, the
spokesperson says
on condition
of anonymity.

Margaret Randall
Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Read Alice Embree’s Rag Blog review of Margaret Randall’s Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary, here.
  • Listen to the podcast of Thorne Dreyer and Alice Embree’s Oct. 2, 2015, Rag Radio interview with Margaret Randall, here:

[Margaret Randall is an acclaimed poet, essayist, oral historian, translator, photographer, and social activist. Her most recent book is Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression.]

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