Fantasy in Black and White

Fantasy in Black and White


I'm lying on my sickbed
a smoking cigarette between my fingers


I drink a glass of whiskey and soda
while I listen to a Duke Ellington CD


His heart has died a supernatural death
and his friends keep watch over him


with instruments that sound like voices
and voices that sound like instruments


the trumpet of Cootie Williams
the trombone of Juan Tizol
and three saxes that wail in unison


A rainbow rises in my glass
and my room is full of musicians


It's 1930 and I still haven't been born


I'm in the Cotton Club of Harlem
at the table of Owney the Killer


The orchesta is playing "Mood Indigo"
that sadness of an unreal color


The mutes of the trumpets caress my ear
like the prelude of a kiss in the dark


Duke Ellington comes near my bed without making a sound
puts his hand on my forehead and tells me:


"I remember the glass of whiskey that was emptied alone
I remember the cigarette that levitated in the Cotton Club
Rest in peace phantom of 1930"


I hear a man whistling in the street
and the echo of his steps walking away


For the next poem in this series, "Weather Report," please click here:
http://www.wordswithoutborders.org/article.php?lab=Weatherreport